Mason, William

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Mason, William

Mason, William, esteemed American pianist, pedagogue, and composer, son of Lowell Mason and uncle of Daniel Gregory Mason; b. Boston, Jan. 24, 1829; d. N.Y., July 14, 1908. He studied with his father and with Henry Schmidt in Boston. He made his debut at an Academy of Music concert there (March 7, 1846), and then went to Leipzig (1849), where he continued his studies with Moscheies, Hauptmann, and Richter. After further instruction from Dreyschock in Prague, he completed his training with Liszt in Weimar (1853–54). After appearances in Weimar, Prague, Frankfurt am Main, and other continental cities, as well as in London (1853), he toured in the U.S. (1854–55). He then settled in N.Y., where he founded the Mason and Thomas Soirees of Chamber Music with Theodore Thomas in 1855; after they were discontinued in 1868, he devoted himself mainly to teaching. In 1872 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Yale Coll. He pubi. Memories of a Musical Life (N.Y, 1901). Mason composed a Serenata for Cello and Piano and some 40 piano pieces. His pedagogical works include A Method for the Pianoforte (with E. Hoadley; N.Y, 1867), A System for Beginners (with E. Hoadley; Boston, 1871), A System of Technical Exercises for the Pianoforte (Boston, 1878), Touch and Technique, op.44 (Philadelphia, 1889), and A Primer of Music (with W. Mathews; N.Y, 1894).


K. Graber, W. M. (1829–1908): An Annotated Bibliography and Catalog of Works (Warren, Mich., 1987).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire