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Van der Stucken, Frank (Valentin)

Van der Stucken, Frank (Valentin)

Van der Stucken, Frank (Valentin), American conductor and composer; b. Fredericksburg, Tex., Oct. 15,1858; d. Hamburg, Aug. 16,1929. In 1866 he was taken by his parents to Antwerp, where he studied with Peter Benoit at the Cons.; then with Reinecke in Leipzig (1877-79). In 1881 he became conductor at the Breslau Stadttheater. In 1884 he became Leopold Damrosch’s successor as conductor of the Arion Soc., a men’s chorus in N.Y., and soon acquired a reputation as an advocate of American music. He conducted MacDowell’s Piano Concerto with the composer as soloist, as well as works by Chadwick, Foote, and Paine at the Paris Exposition (July 12, 1889). After serving as conductor of the North American Sangerbund in Newark (1891) and N.Y. (1894), he was the first permanent conductor of the Cincinnati Sym. Orch. (1895-1907). He was also dean of the Cincinnati Coll. of Music (1896-1901), and served as music director of the Cincinnati May Festival (1906-12), returning there in 1923 and once again serving as its music director in 1925 and 1927. He lived mostly in Europe from 1907. In 1898 he was elected to the National Inst. of Arts and Letters and in 1929 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He composed a few orch. works, choral music, numerous songs, and piano pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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