Lyford, Ralph, American conductor and composer; b. Worcester, Mass., Feb. 22, 1882; d. Cincinnati, Sept. 3, 1927. He began to study piano and violin as a child, and entered the New England Cons. of Music in Boston at the age of 12, studying piano with Helen Hopekirk, organ with Goodrich, and composition with Chadwick. He then went to Leipzig to study conducting with Arthur Nikisch (1906). Returning to America, he became asst. conductor of the San Carlo Opera Co. (1907–8); then was with the Boston Opera Co. (1908–14). In 1916 he settled in Cincinnati, where he taught at the Cons., and also conducted the summer seasons of opera at the Zoological Gardens. From 1925 to 1927 he was assoc. conductor of the Cincinnati Sym. Orch. He wrote an opera, Castle Agrazant (Cincinnati, April 29, 1926; won the David Bispham Medal), Piano Concerto (1917), chamber music, and songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire