Parish Alvars, Elias, 1808-1849
Elias Parish Alvars (1808-1849) was an English harpist and composer and one of the most well-known and accomplished harpists of the Romantic period.
Alvars was born in Devonshire, England on February 28, 1808. At an early age he studied and performed on the harp. He first studied in London with Nicolas Charles Bochsa and later studied voice and composition in Florence. Alvars had a rich performance career, giving concerts on tours around the world in places such as Germany, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Constantinople, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Engand, and Italy. During his career he also regularly performed with Carl Czerny. Alvars began composing for harp in circa 1832 under the pseudonym "Albert Alvars", and that same year moved to Vienna where he continued to teach and perform, specifically with the Hofopertheater. In 1842 he married pianist and harpist, Melanie Lewy and they frequently performed together. Alvars continued to tour and give concerts throughout Europe until his death on January 25, 1849.