Charles Wakefield Cadman

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Cadman, Charles Wakefield

Cadman, Charles Wakefield, important American composer; b. Johnstown, Pa., Dec. 24, 1881; d. Los Angeles, Dec. 30, 1946. His great- grandfather was the hymn composer Samuel Wakefield (1799–1895). After studies with William Steiner (organ), Edwin L. Walker (piano), and Leo Oehmler (theory), he received training in theory and conducting from Luigi von Kunits and Emil Paur. From 1908 to 1910 he was music ed. and critic of the Pittsburgh Dispatch. His interest in American Indian music resulted in various lecture- performance tours in the U.S. and Europe with the Cherokee-Creek Indian Princess Tsianina Redfeather. In 1916 he settled in Los Angeles as a composer and teacher. Cadman wrote an opera based on the life of Redfeather, Shanewis or The Robin Woman, which was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. on March 23, 1918.

Works

DRAMATIC The Land of the Misty Water, opera (1909–12; rev. as Ramala); Shanewis or The Robin Woman, opera (N.Y., March 23, 1918); The Sunset Trail, operatic cantata (Denver, Dec. 5, 1922); The Garden of Mystery, opera (N.Y., March 20, 1925); The Ghost of Lollypop Bay, operetta (1926); Lelawala, operetta (1926); A Witch of Salem, opera (Chicago, Dec. 8, 1926); The Belle of Havana, operetta (1928); South in Sonora, operetta (1932); The Willow Tree, radio score (NBC, Oct. 3, 1932); film scores. orch.:Thunderbird Suite (1914); Oriental Rhapsody (1917); Prairie Sketches (1923; arranged from a piano piece, 1906); To a Vanishing Race for Strings (1925); Hollywood Suite (1932); Dark Dancers of the Mardi Gras for Piano and Orch. (1933); Trail Pictures (1934); American Suite for Strings (1936); Suite on American Folktunes (1937); Sym., Pennsylvania (1939–40; Los Angeles, March 7, 1940); Aurora Borealis for Piano and Orch. (1944); A Mad Empress Remembers for Violin and Orch. (1944); Huckleberry Finn Goes Fishing, overture (1945). chamber: Piano Trio (1914); Violin Sonata (1932); Piano Quintet (1937). keyboard: piano:Melody (1905); Prairie Sketches (1906; also for Orch., 1923); Idealized Indian Themes (1912); Sonata (1915); Oriental Suite (1921). vocal:The Vision of Sir Launfal for Men’s Chorus (1909); The Father of Waters for Chorus (1928); The Far Horizon for Chorus (1934); sacred anthems; song cycles; numerous solo songs.

Bibliography

N. Fielder, Complete Musical Works of C.W. C. (Los Angeles, 1951; catalog); H. Perison, C.W. G.: His Life and Works (diss., Eastman School of Music, 1978).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Charles Wakefield Cadman, 1881–1946, American composer, b. Johnstown, Pa. Although he is known to the public principally for two songs—From the Land of the Sky-blue Water, based on Native American themes, and At Dawning—he composed operas, such as Shanewis (1918), The Sunset Trail (1922), and, the most successful of these, A Witch of Salem (1926). He also wrote orchestral and piano music.

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Cadman, Charles Wakefield (b Johnstown, Penn., 1881; d Los Angeles, 1946). Amer. composer, pianist, organist, and music critic. Specialist in mus. of Amer. Indians, using it in his own works which incl. several operas, orch. comps., and many songs, incl. the popular ‘From the Land of the Sky-Blue Water’. Was a founder of the Hollywood Bowl.

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