Thomas Champion ('Mithou')
French composer and keyboard player.
'Champion' was a French family of composers and musicians. At least six musicians of this name were active in the 16th and 17th century. From this Thomas we only know for sure that he probably died not long after 1579. He was generally known as Mithou and highly esteemed as both composer and performer. He served under Antoine de Bourbon-Vendôme, father of Henri IV. In 1554 he was living in Paris and in 1557 in Béarn (Henry II, King of Navarre). In 1578 he became the first organist of the royal chapel and chamber. There is no record of him after 1580. His surviving works amount only to Premier livre contenant 60 pseaumes de David (Paris, 1561) for four voices (two for five voices, ps. 25 and ps. 79), as well as four sacred chansons and seven four-part secular chansons scattered through collections. Four of his Psalm settings (pss. 24, 14, 30, 118) were added to the Geneva edition of Goudimels 150 Pseaumes (1564-5) to serve as music for those Psalms (with re-used melody) for which Goudimel had not provided a separate note-against-note setting. They appear in this edition as settings for resp. Pss. 95, 53, 139, 98).
Thomas Champion was the grandfather of Jacques Champion Chambonnières, a composer, harpsichordist, and one of the most distinguished members of the French classical school of harpsichord playing and composition.