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Caryll, Ivan (real name, Felix Tilkin)

Caryll, Ivan (real name, Felix Tilkin)

Belgian-born American conductor and composer; b. Liège, May 12, 1861; d. N.Y., Nov. 29, 1921. He studied at the Liège Cons, and the Paris Cons. In 1882 he went to London, where he established himself as a theater conductor. In 1887 he became music director of the Prince of Wales Theatre. In 1889 he was named music director of the Lyric Theatre, where he scored his first major success as a composer of light theater music with his burlesque Little Christopher Columbus (Oct. 10, 1893; known in the U.S. as Little Christopher). In 1894 he became composer-in-residence and music director of the Gaiety Theatre. He brought out several successful stage works, often with contributions with Lionel Mon-ckton, including The Shop Girl (Nov. 24, 1894), The Circus Girl (Dec. 5, 1896), A Runaway Girl (May 21, 1898), The Messenger Boy (Feb. 3, 1900), The Toreador (June 17, 1901), and The Orchid (Oct. 28, 1903). Among Caryll’s other successful scores were The Gay Parisienne (April 4, 1896; known in the U.S. as The Girl from Paris), The Ladies’ Paradise (March 11, 1901), The Girl from Kays (Nov. 15, 1902; in collaboration with Cecil Cook), The Duchess of Dantzic (Oct. 17, 1903), The Earl and the Girl (Dec. 10, 1903), The Cherry Girl (Dec. 21, 1903), The New Aladdin (Sept. 29, 1906), The Girls of Gottenberg (May 15, 1907), and Our Miss Gibbs (Jan. 23, 1909). From 1899 Caryll likewise was conductor of his own light orch. In 1910 he went to the U.S., eventually becoming a naturalized American citizen. Settling in N.Y., his success continued in his adopted homeland with such scores as The Pink Lade (March 13, 1911), Oh! Oh! Delphine (Sept. 30, 1912), The Little Café (Nov. 10, 1913), Chin-Chin (Oct. 20, 1914), Jack o’Lantern (Oct. 16, 1917), The Girl Behind the Gun (Sept. 16, 1918), Tip-Top (Oct. 5, 1920), Kissing Time (Oct. 11, 1920), and The Hotel Mouse (March 13, 1922; rev. version of Little Miss Raffles, Stamford, Conn., Dec. 1, 1921). Caryll also wrote numerous songs, dances, and salon pieces.

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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