Lang, Margaret Ruthven

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Lang, Margaret Ruthven

Lang, Margaret Ruthven, American composer, daughter of Benjamin J(ohnson) Lang; b. Boston, Nov.27, 1867; d. there, May 29, 1972, at the age of 104(!). She studied in Boston with her father and later in Munich, and also with Chad wick and MacDowell. She was the first woman composer in the U.S. to have a work performed by a major orch. when Nikisch conducted the premiere of her Dramatic Overture with the Boston Sym. Orch. (April 7, 1893). She stopped composing in 1917. She attended the Boston Sym. Orch. concerts from their inception in 1881, being present at a concert 3 days before her 100th birthday, at which Leinsdorf included in the program the psalm tune Old Hundredth in her honor.


Witichis, overture (1893); Dramatic Overture (Boston, April 7, 1893); Sappho’s Prayer to Aphrodite for Mezzo-soprano and Orch. (1895); Phoebus’ Denunciation of the Furies at the Delphian Shrine for Bass and Orch.; Totila, overture; Ballade for Orch. (1901); Te Deum for Chorus (1899); The Lonely Rose, cantata (1906); The Night of the Star, cantata (1913); The Heavenly Noel (1916); etc.; about 150 songs, including the popular An Irish Love Song (1895); piano pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Lang, Margaret Ruthven

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