Chadwick, George Whitefield

views updated Jun 11 2018

Chadwick, George Whitefield

Chadwick, George Whitefield, eminent American composer and teacher; b. Lowell, Mass. Nov. 13, 1854; d. Boston, April 4, 1931. He began musical training with his brother. From the time he was 15, he was active as an organist, and in 1872 he became a Congregational church organist. He also pursued organ training with Dudley Buck and Eugene Thayer at the New England Cons. of Music in Boston. After serving as a prof. of music at Olivet Coll. in Mich. (1876–77), he went to Leipzig to study privately with Jadassohn, and then entered the Cons, there in 1878. His Rip Van Winkle overture and his Second String Quartet were selected as the finest works at the annual Cons, concerts in 1879. He then pursued training with Rheinberger at the Munich Hochschule für Musik (1879–80). Upon his return to Boston in 1880, he devoted himself mainly to composing and teaching. He also was active as an organist, as a pianist (prinicipally in programs of his own works), and as a symphonic and choral conductor. He served as director and conductor of the Springfield (1890–99) and Worcester (1897–1901) festivals. In 1882 he became a teacher at the New England Cons, of Music. In 1897 he became its director, and proceeded to make it one of the most distinguished conservatories in the U.S. Many noted American composers were Chad wick’s pupils. In 1898 he was elected a member of the National Inst. of Arts and Letters, and in 1909 of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which awarded him its gold medal in 1928. Chadwick was one of the leading American composers of his day. While he is usually regarded as a pillar of the “Boston Classicists,” his most important works actually reveal attempts to find a new American style, albeit one reflecting the tenets of late Romanticism. Among his most important works were the verismo opera The Padrone (1912–13), the Second Sym. (1883–85), the Symphonic Sketches (1895–1904), the symphonic ballad Tom O’Shanter (1914–15), the Fourth String Quartet (1896), and various songs.


DRAMATIC: The Peer and the Pauper, comic operetta (1884); A Quiet Lodging, operetta (Boston, April 1, 1892); Tabasco, burlesque opera (1893–94; Boston, Jan. 29, 1894); Judith, lyric drama (1899–1900; Worcester Festival, Sept. 23, 1901); Everywoman: Her Pilgrimage in Quest of Love, incidental music (1910; Hartford, Conn., Feb. 9, 1911); The Padrone, opera (1912–13; concert perf., Thomaston, Conn., Sept. 29, 1995); Love’s Sacrifice, pastoral opera (1916–17; Chicago, Feb. 1, 1923). orch.:Rip Van Winkle, overture (Leipzig, March 18, 1879; rev. 1920s); Schon München, waltz (1880; Boston, Jan. 7, 1881); 3 syms.: No. 1 (1881; Boston, Feb. 23, 1882). No. 2 (1883–85; 1stcomplete perf., Boston, Dec. 10, 1886), and No. 3 (1893–94; Boston, Oct. 19, 1894); Andante for Strings (Boston, April 13, 1892); Thalia: Overture to an Imaginary Comedy (1882; Boston, Jan. 12, 1883); Melpomene: Overture to an Imaginary Tragedy (Boston, Dec. 23, 1887); A Pastoral Prelude (1890; Boston, Jan. 30, 1892); Serenade (1890); Tabasco March for Band or Orch. (Boston, Jan. 29, 1894); Symphonic Sketches (1895–1904; Boston, Feb. 7, 1908); Adonais, overture (1899; Boston, Feb. 2, 1900); Euterpe, overture (1903; Boston, April 22, 1904); Cleopatra, symphonic poem (1904; Worcester Festival, Sept. 29, 1905); Sinfonietta (Boston, Nov. 21, 1904); Suite symphonique (1905–09; Philadelphia, March 29, 1911); Theme, Variations, and Fugue for Organ and Orch. (Boston, Nov. 13, 1908); Everywoman Waltz (1909); Aphrodite, symphonic fantasy (1910–11; Norfolk Festival, June 4, 1912); Tarn O’Shanter, symphonic ballad (1914–15; Norfolk Festival, June 3, 1915); Angel of Death, symphonic poem (1917–18; N.Y., Feb. 9, 1919); Jericho March (c. 1919); Elegy: In Memoriam Horatio Parker (1920); Anniversary Overture (Norfolk Festival, June 7, 1922); Tre pezzi (1923). chamber: 5 string quartets: No. 1 (Leipzig, May 29, 1878), No. 2 (1878; Leipzig, May 30, 1879), No. 3 (c. 1885; Boston, March 9, 1887), No. 4 (Boston, Dec. 21, 1896), and No. 5 (1898; Boston, Feb. 12, 1901); Piano Quintet (1887; Boston, Jan. 23, 1888); Romanze for Cello and Piano (1911); Easter Morn for Violin or Cello and Piano (c. 1914); Fanfare for 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, and Timpani (Boston, Nov. 3, 1925); piano pieces; organ music. vocal: Chorus and Orch.: The Viking’s Last Voyage (Boston, April 22, 1881); Dedication Ode (1883); Lovely Rosabelle, ballad (Boston, Dec. 10, 1899); The Pilgrims (1890; Boston, April 2, 1891); Phoenix expirans, cantata (1891; Springfield Festival, May 5, 1892); Ode for the Opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, Oct. 21, 1892); The Lily Nymph, dramatic cantata (1894–95; N.Y., Dec. 7, 1895); Ecce jam noctis (New Haven, Conn., June 30, 1897); Noel (1907–08; Norfolk Festival, June 2, 1909); Land of Our Hearts (1917; Norfolk Festival, June 4, 1918); Fathers of the Free (c. 1927); Commemoration Ode (c. 1928); many other accompanied and unaccompanied choral works, both sacred and secular. solo voice and orch.:The Miller’s Daughter for Baritone and Orch. (1886; San Francisco, May 18, 1887); Lochinar for Baritone and Orch. (Springfield Festival, May 7, 1896); Aghadoe for Alto and Orch. (1910). Also many solo songs with piano or organ accompaniment.


Harmony: A Course of Study (Boston, 1897; many subsequent eds.); Key to the Textbook on Harmony (Boston, 1902)


V. Yellin, The Life and Operatic Works ofG.W. C. (diss., Harvard Univ., 1957); idem, C: Yankee Composer (Washington, D.C., and London, 1990); B. Faucett, G.W. C: His Symphonic Works (Lanham, Md., 1996); idem, G.W. C: A Bio-Bibliography (Westport, Conn., 1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Chadwick, George

views updated Jun 08 2018

Chadwick, George (Whitefield) (b Lowell, Mass., 1854; d Boston, 1931). Amer. composer, organist, and conductor. Teacher, org., and choral cond. in Boston. Joined staff New England Cons. 1882, becoming dir. 1897 until his death. Comp. opera Judith (1900), 3 syms., several symphonic poems incl. Tam O'Shanter (1911), 5 str. qts., and choral works.

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