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De Koven, (Henry Louis) Reginald

De Koven, (Henry Louis) Reginald

De Koven, (Henry Louis) Reginald , American composer; b. Middletown, Conn., April 3, 1859; d. Chicago, Jan. 16,1920. He was educated in Europe from 1870, taking his degree at St. John’s Coll., Oxford, in 1879. Before this he studied piano under W. Speidel at Stuttgart, and after graduation studied there another year under Lebert (piano) and Pruckner (harmony). After a 6-month course in Frankfurt am Main under Hauff (composition), he studied singing with Vannuccini at Florence, and opératic composition under Genee in Vienna and Delibes in Paris. In 1902 he organized the Phil. Orch. at Washington, D.C., which he conducted for 3 seasons. He was music critic for the Chicago Evening Post (1889–90), Harper’s Weekly (1895–97), N.Y. World (1898–1900; 1907–12), and later for the N.Y. Herald. His best know work was the operetta Robin Hood (Chicago, June 9, 1890), in which the celebrated song “O Promise Me/7 originally publ. in 1899 and introduced into the short after its first performance, is featured.


DRAMATIC opéra : The Canterbury Pilgrims (N.Y., March 8, 1917); Rip van Winkle (Chicago, Jan. 2, 1920). O p e r e t t a : The Begum (Philadelphia, Nov. 7, 1887); Don Quixote (Boston, Nov. 18,1889); Robin Hood (Chicago, June 9, 1890; as Maid Marian, London, Jan. 5, 1891); The Fencing Master (Boston, 1892); The Knickerbockers (Boston, 1893); The Algerian (Philadelphia, 1893); Rob Roy (Detroit, 1894); The Tzigane (N.Y., 1895); The Mandarin (Cleveland, 1896); The Paris Doll (Hartford, Conn., 1897); The Highwayman (New Haven, 1897); and the following, all of which had their premieres in N.Y.: The 3 Dragoons (1899); Red Feather (1903); Happyland (1905); Student King (1906); The Golden Butterfly (1907); The Beauty Spot (1909); The Wedding Trip (1911); Her Little Highness (1913). OTHER: Some 400 songs; a Piano Sonata.


A. de Koven, A Musician and His Wife (N.Y., 1926).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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