Shepherd, Arthur

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Shepherd, Arthur

Shepherd, Arthur, eminent American composer and pedagogue; b. Paris, Idaho, Feb. 19, 1880; d. Cleveland, Jan. 12, 1958. He studied with G. Haessel, and in 1892 entered the New England Cons. of Music in Boston, where he studied piano with Dennee and Carl Faelten, and composition with Goetschius and Chadwick. In 1897 he went to Salt Lake City, where he was active as a teacher and as conductor of the Salt Lake Sym. Orch. He returned to Boston in 1908, and became a prof. of harmony and counterpoint at the New England Cons. of Music (until 1917; again in 1919–20). In 1917 he joined the U.S. Army, and was bandmaster of the 303rd Field Artillery in France. He settled in Cleveland, where he was asst. conductor (1920–26) and program annotator (1920–30) of its orch., prof. at Western Reserve Univ. (1927–50), and music critic of the Cleveland Press (1928–31). In 1938 he was elected to membership in the National Inst. of Arts and Letters. A composer of national tendencies, Shepherd wrote in a grand Romantic manner, derived from an intense feeling for American melos. He publ, a valuable handbook, The String Quartets of Beethoven (Cleveland, 1937).


ORCH.: 3 overtures: The Nuptials of Attila, Ouverture joyeuse (1902), The Festival of Youth (1915), and Overture to a Drama (1919; Cleveland, March 27, 1924); Fantaisie humoresque for Piano and Orch. (Boston, Feb. 8, 1918); 2 syms.: No. 1, Horizons (Cleveland, Dec. 15, 1927) and No. 2 (1939; Cleveland, March 7, 1940); Choreographic Suite (Cleveland, Oct. 22, 1931); Fantasy on Down East Spirituals (Indianapolis, Nov. 2, 1946); Violin Concerto (1946–47); Theme and Variations (Cleveland, April 9, 1953). band: Hilaritas, overture (1942). CHAMBER : 2 violin sonatas (1914, 1927); 5 string quartets (1926, 1933, 1936, 1944, 1955); Piano Quintet (1940); Praeludium salutatorium for Flute, Oboe, Horn, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1942); Divertissement for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Horn (1943). Piano : 2 sonatas in F minor (1907, 1929). VOCAL : The City in the Sea for Baritone, Double Chorus, and Orch. (1913); Song of the Sea Wind for Women’s Voices and Piano (1915); He Came All So Still for Women’s Voices (1915); Deck Thyself My Soul for Chorus and Organ (1918); Triptych for Voice and String Quartet (1926); Song of the Pilgrims for Tenor, Double Chorus, and Orch. (1932); Ballad of Trees and the Master for Chorus (1935); Invitation to the Dance for Chorus and Orch. or 2 Pianos (1936); Grace for Gardens for Chorus (1938); Build Thee More Stately Mansions for Women’s Voices (1938); Psalm XLII for Chorus and Orch. (1944); Drive On for Baritone and Chorus (1946); A Psalm of the Mountains for Chorus and Orch. or Piano (1956); songs.


R. Loucks, A. S.: American Composer (Provo, Utah, 1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire