Haubiel (real name, Pratt), Charles Trowbridge

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Haubiel (real name, Pratt), Charles Trowbridge

Haubiel (real name, Pratt), Charles Trowbridgebridge, American composer; b. Delta, Ohio, Jan. 30, 1892; d. Los Angeles, Aug. 26, 1978. His father’s last name was Pratt, but he adopted his mother’s maiden name, Haubiel, as his own. He had piano lessons with his sister Florence Pratt, an accomplished pianist. In 1911 he went to Europe, where he studied piano with Rudolph Ganz in Berlin; also took composition lessons with Alexander von Fielitz in Leipzig. Returning to the U.S. in 1913, he taught music at various schools in Okla. When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, he enlisted in the field artillery and served in France. After the Armistice, he resumed serious study of composition with Rosario Scalerò at the David Mannes Music School in N.Y. (1919–24), while continuing piano lessons with Rosina and Josef Lhévinne (1920–26). In 1928 he won 1st prize in the Schubert Centennial Contest with his symphonic variations Karma. Intermittently he taught musical subjects at the Inst. of Musical Art in N.Y. (1921–31) and at N.Y.U. (1923–47). In 1935 he organized the Composers Press, Inc., with the purpose of promoting the publication of American music, and served as its president until 1966. His compositions reveal an excellent theoretical and practical grasp of harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation, and formal design. In his idiom, he followed the models of the Romantic school of composition, but he embroidered the basic patterns of traditional music with winsome coloristic touches, approaching the usage of French Impressionism. He was extremely prolific; many of his works underwent multiple transformations from a modest original, usually for solo piano or a chamber group, to a piece for full orch.; in all these forms, his compositions remain eminently playable.


dramatic:Brigands Preferred, comic opera (1929–6); Passionate Pilgrim, incidental music (c. 1937); The Witch’s Curse, fairy tale opera (1940); The Birthday Cake, operetta (c. 1942); Sunday Costs 5 Pesos, folk opera (1947; Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 6, 1950); The Enchanted Princess (c. 1955); Adventures on Sunbonnet Hill, children’s operetta (c. 1971). ORCH.: Mars Ascending (1923); Karma, symphonic variations (1928; rev. 1968 as Of Human Destiny); Vox Cathedralis (1934; N.Y, May 6, 1938); Portraits: 3 ritratti caratteristici (Chicago, Dec. 12, 1935); Solari (1935–36); Suite Passacaglie (Los Angeles, Jan. 31, 1936); Symphony in Variation Form (1937); Miniatures for Strings (1938-39; N.Y, April 23, 1939); Passacaglia Triptych (1939–40); 1865 A.D. (1945; rev. 1958 as Mississippi Story; Los Angeles, April 24, 1959); Pioneers: A Symphonic Saga of Ohio (1946; rev. 1956; Los Angeles, Feb. 19, 1960); American Rhapsody (1948); A Kennedy Memorial (1965); Heroic Elegy (1970); also many transcriptions of chamber and instrumental pieces. CHAMBER: Ecchi classici for String Quartet (1924); Duoforms for Piano Trio (1929–33); Lodando la danza for Oboe, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1932); Romanza for Piano Trio (1932); Piano Trio (1932); Cryptics for Bassoon and Piano (1932); Nuances for Flute and Piano (1938); En saga for Violin and Piano (1938); In the French Manner for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1942); Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1942); String Trio (1943); Shadows for Violin or Cello and Piano (1947); Pastoral Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1949); Epochs for Violin and Piano (1954–55); Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1969); Cryptics for Cello and Piano (1973); many piano pieces. vocal: Portals, symphonic song cycle for High Voice and Orch. (1963); Threnody for Love for Alto, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1965); 3 cantatas; choral pieces with orch.; solo songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Haubiel (real name, Pratt), Charles Trowbridge

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