Cowen, Sir Frederic (Hymen)

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Cowen, Sir Frederic (Hymen)

Cowen, Sir Frederic (Hymen) , English conductor and composer; b. Kingston, Jamaica, Jan. 29, 1852; d. London, Oct. 6, 1935. His evident talent for music caused his parents to take him to England to study at the age of four. He was a pupil of Benedict and Goss in London; studied at the Leipzig Cons, under Hauptmann, Moscheles, Reinecke, Richter, and Plaidy (1865–66); in Berlin under Kiel at the Stern Cons. (1867–68). He was conductor of the Phil. Soc. of London (1888–92; 1900–07), the Liverpool Phil. (1895–1913), the Halle Orch. in Manchester (1896–99), the Scottish Orch. in Glasgow (1900–10) and the Handel Triennial Festivals in London (1902–23). In 1911 he was knighted. He publ. his memoirs as My Art and My Friends (London, 1913), and an amusing glossary of musical terms, Music as She Is Wrote (London, 1915); also books on Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Rossini.


DRAMATIC Opera : Pauline (London,

Nov. 22, 1876; Thorgrim (London, April 22, 1890); Signa (Milan, Nov. 12, 1893); Harold, or The Norman Conquest (London, June 8, 1895). ORCH.: 6 syms.: No. 1 (1869), No. 2 (1872), No. 3, Scandinavian (1880), No. 4, Welsh (1884), No. 5 (1887), and No. 6, Idyllic (1897); three suites: The Language of Flowers, In the Olden Time, and In Fairyland; Sinfonietta; Piano Concerto; four overtures; Of Life and Love, fantasy. CHAMBER : 2 piano trios; 2 string quartets; piano pieces. VOCAL: O r a t o r i o s : The Deluge (1878); St. Ursula (1881); Ruth (1887); The Veil (Cardiff, Sept. 20, 1910). O t h e r : Cantatas; over 250 songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire