Fairchild, Blair, American composer; b. Belmont, Mass., June 23, 1877; d. Paris, April 23, 1933. He studied composition with J.K. Paine and Walter Spalding at Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1899), and then took courses with Giuseppe Buonamici in Florence. From 1901 until 1903 he was an attaché in the American embassies in Turkey and Persia. From 1905 he lived mostly in Paris, where he continued his musical studies with Charles Widor. Influenced by his travels in the Orient, and fascinated by the resources of exotic melos and rhythm, he wrote a number of pieces for orch. and for piano, and many songs in a pseudo-oriental manner; despite the imitative qualities of his music, Fairchild must be regarded as one of the few Americans who tried to transplant exotic folkways, both in subject matter and in melodic turns.
East and West, tone poem (1908); Legende for Violin and Orch. (1911); Tamineh, symphonic poem after a Persian legend (1913); 6 chants negres for Piano (also orchestrated, Boston, Dec. 6, 1929); 2 violin sonatas (1908,1919); 5 sets of Stornelli Toscani for Voice and Piano; song cycles.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire