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MacCunn, Hamish (James)

MacCunn, Hamish (James)

MacCunn, Hamish (James), Scottish composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Greenock, March 22, 1868; d. London, Aug. 2, 1916. He won a composition scholarship to the Royal Coll. of Music in London when he was 15, and studied there with Parry, Stanford, and Franklin Taylor (until 1886). He remained in London and served as prof. of hamony at the Royal Academy of Music (1888–94). He also taught composition privately and later at the Guildhall School of Music (from 1912). From 1898 he was also active as a theater conductor. After working with the Carl Rosa Opera Co. and the Moody-Manners Co., he served as principal conductor of the Savoy Theatre (1902–05). Thereafter he conducted at various theaters, and in 1910 and 1915 he was a conductor with the Beecham Opera Co. MacCunn’s most important work was the opera Jeanie Deans (Edinburgh, Nov. 15, 1894), after Scott’s The Heart of Midlothian, but he remains best known for the overture The Land of the Mountain and the Flood (London, Nov. 5, 1887).


dramatic: Jeanie Deans, opera, after Scott’s The Heart of Midlothian (Edinburgh, Nov. 15, 1894); Diarmid (London, Oct. 23, 1897); Breast of Light (n.d.; unfinished); The Masque of War and Peace, masque (London, Feb. 13, 1900); The Golden Girl, light opera (Birmingham, Aug. 5, 1905); Prue, light opera (n.d.; unfinished); The Pageant of Darkness and Light, stage pageant (1908); The Sailor and the Nursemaid, light opera (London, June 27, 1912). ballades:The Ship o’ the Fiend (London, Feb. 21, 1888); The Dowie Dens o’ Yarrow (London, Oct. 13, 1888). vocal: cantatas:Lord Ullin’s Daughter, after Walter Scott (London, Feb. 18, 1888); Bonny Kilmeny (Edinburgh, Dec. 15,1888); The Lay of the Last Minstrel (Glasgow, Dec. 18, 1888); The Cameronian’s Dream (Edinburgh, Jan. 27, 1890); Queen Hynde ofCaledon (Glasgow, Jan. 28,1892); The Wreck of the Hesperus, after Longfellow (London, Aug. 28, 1905). orch.: overtures:dor Mhor (London, Oct. 27,1885); The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, after Scott (London, Nov. 5,1887). other:Highland Memories, suite (London, March 13, 1897); Scotch Dances for Piano; songs; etc.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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