Hopkins, (Charles) Jerome

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Hopkins, (Charles) Jerome

Hopkins, (Charles) Jerome, American pianist, organist, music educator, and composer; b. Burlington, Vt, April 4, 1836; d. Athenia, N.J., Nov. 4, 1898. He was almost totally self-taught as a musician. About 1853 he settled in N.Y, where he began performing and lecturing. From 1856 he actively promoted the music of American composers. He organized the Orpheon Free Schools in 1861 to give instruction in sight-singing and basic music training to working-class children. In all, he claimed to have taught more than 30, 000 pupils. From 1864 he gave annual concerts in order to raise funds for his schools, and also ed. the Orpheonist and Philharmonic Journal, which served to promote his schools and concerts, and which also provided him a forum for his musical and social criticism. In 1871 he launched a series of “Piano-Lecture Concerts” and made tours of the Eastern and Midwestern regions of the U.S. In 1889-90 he toured England. Hopkins became well known for his sensational methods and eccentric professional conduct, and was frequently involved in law suits. He ed. A Collection of Sacred Song (1859), Canticles of the Church (1861), and Jerome Hopkins’ Second Collection of Church Music (1870). His niece was Amy Fay.


dramatic: Opera: Dumb Love (1878); Taffy and Old Munch (1882). ORCH.: Serenade (1870); Piano Concerto (1872); Sym. (n.d.). chamber Piano Trio (1857–58); piano pieces. vocalVictory Te Deum (1862); Vespers Service (1875); Samuel, oratorio (1877); songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire