George W. Chadwick

Biography

Born: November 13, 1854 in Lowell, MA   Died: April 4, 1931 in Boston, MA   Country: USA   Period: 19th/20th Centuries
As an instructor, and eventually director, at the New England Conservatory of Music, George Whitefield Chadwick played an important role in the development of a uniquely American musical style. He was also one of the most significant of the Boston, or New England, school of composers. His music, although conservative in approach, is brilliantly orchestrated and reflects a subtle charm and sense of humor.

Chadwick grew up in a
Read more musical home. Both his parents were amateur musicians, and Chadwick got his first musical instruction in piano and harmony from his brother. More formal studies continued at the New England Conservatory in 1872. However, he didn't have enough money to complete his degree, so he worked in his father's insurance business for about three years. At age 21 he decided to pursue a career as a music educator and composer; he taught at Olivet College in 1876 and 1877. Then in the fall of 1877, Chadwick traveled to Germany, entering the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied with Carl Reinecke. He also received some organ lessons from Josef Rheinberger in Munich. His graduation piece from the Leipzig Conservatory was the Rip Van Winkle Overture (1879), which was premiered at the Conservatory and later became his first composition performed in America.

Returning to the United States in 1880, Chadwick set up a private teaching studio in Boston. Two years later he took a post as instructor in harmony and composition at the New England Conservatory. He also became the organist at Boston's South Congregational Church, a post he held for 17 years. In his spare time he composed works like the Symphony No. 3 (1886), which won him a prize from the National Conservatory in New York.

In his years at the New England Conservatory, Chadwick instructed many of the most important of the next generation of American composers, such as Horatio Parker, William Grant Still, Henry Hadley, E. B. Hill, Daniel Gregory Mason, and Frederick Converse. After becoming Director of the Conservatory in 1897 -- a post he held for the rest of his life -- Chadwick instituted some noteworthy changes, reforming the curriculum and organizing an opera workshop and a student orchestra. He also wrote influential textbooks such as Harmony, A Course of Study (1897, rev. 1922).

Chadwick was much in demand as a conductor, appearing frequently with U.S. orchestras. He also directed music festivals in Springfield (1897-1901) and Worcester (1889-1899). Even with all this activity, he still managed to compose; among his most popular works are the four Symphonic Sketches (1895-1904) and the Tam O'Shanter Overture (1915). He eventually produced five operas, three symphonies, five string quartets, and a variety of other orchestral and chamber works. The conservatism of his music, however, led to its falling out of favor as the musical world changed dramatically in the early twentieth century. The Metropolitan Opera even refused to produce his tragic opera The Padrone (1912).

Chadwick was much honored during his lifetime. As early as 1897 he received an honorary degree from Yale University; eight years later he received another from Tufts College. In 1928, he was presented a gold medal by the Academy of Arts and Letters. And in 1930 a pair of music festivals (at the New England Conservatory and the Eastman School) marked the fiftieth anniversary of his return to the United States from his European studies. He died the following year.

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Chadwick: Symphonies 2 & 3 / Järvi, Detroit Symphony
Release Date: 10/20/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9685   Number of Discs: 1
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Chadwick: Symphonic Sketches, Etc / Järvi, Et Al
Release Date: 11/26/2002   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10032   Number of Discs: 1
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American Classics - Chadwick: Thalia, Melpomene, Etc
Release Date: 07/16/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559117   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 30 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    American Romantics, Vol. 2 / Blundell, Gowanus Arts Ensemble
    Label: New Focus   Catalog: 166A Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Collins Foster,  Felix Borowski,  George W. Chadwick,  Arthur Foote  ... 
    Conductor:  Reuben Blundell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gowanus Arts Ensemble
    CD: $17.99
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  • 2.
    Elgar: The New England Connection / Constantine, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100074 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Andrew Constantine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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  • 3.
    Occident Meets Orient
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1532 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sigmund Romberg,  Robert Schumann,  Ottorino Respighi,  George W. Chadwick  ... 
    Performer:  Carole FitzPatrick,  Robert Barefield,  Russell Ryan
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  • 4.
    The Complete Nashville Symphony Recordings / Schermerhorn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 501108 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Morton Gould,  Elliott Carter,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  José Feghali,  Rosana Lamosa,  Mark Wait,  Lori Phillips  ... 
    Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra,  Nashville Symphony Chorus
    On sale! $99.99
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  • 5.
    Historical Organs Of Southeastern Massachusetts
    Label: Organ Historical   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  H. Alexander Matthews,  Edward MacDowell,  Traditional,  M. Searle Wright  ... 
    Performer:  Brian Jones,  Peter Krasinski,  Cheryl Drewes,  Thomas W. D. Guthrie  ... 
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  • 6.
    Chadwick: Songs / Glenn Siebert, Peter Kairoff
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1387 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick
    Performer:  Glenn Siebert,  Peter Kairoff
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  • 7.
    Tutti!: Orchestral Sampler
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 906 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George W. Chadwick,  Igor Stravinsky,  Paul Paray  ... 
    Performer:  Elizabeth Blumenstock,  Eugene Istomin
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue,  José Serebrier,  James Paul,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski  ... 
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  • 8.
    The Early String Quartet in the USA
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5057 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Franklin,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  Charles Martin Loeffler,  George W. Chadwick  ... 
    Performer:  Isabelle Byman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kohon String Quartet
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  • 9.
    Director's Choice /
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT60882 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  George W. Chadwick,  Boris Kozjevnikov  ... 
    Conductor:  John R. Bourgeois
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band
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  • 10.
    Sunday Evenings With Pierre Monteux - California 1941-52
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Olivier Messiaen,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Warenskjold,  William Kapell,  Boris Blinder,  Naum Blinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $118.99
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  • 11.
    Chadwick: Serenade For Strings, Etc / Hobart Earle
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 33 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry F. Gilbert,  George W. Chadwick
    Conductor:  Hobart Earle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Music Ensemble
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  • 12.
    Louisville Orchestra - First Edition Encores: Converse, Etc
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 30 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Bird,  Arthur Foote,  George W. Chadwick,  Frederick S. Converse
    Conductor:  Jorge Mester
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Louisville Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Songs Of An Innocent Age / Paul Sperry, Irma Vallecillo
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 34 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amy Marcy Beach,  Carrie Jacobs-Bond,  Henry Clough-Leiter,  Dudley Buck  ... 
    Performer:  Irma Vallecillo,  Paul Sperry
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  • 14.
    Those Fabulous Americans / Symphony Orchestra Of America
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 103 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Johnson,  William Henry Humiston,  Harry Rowe Shelley,  George W. Chadwick  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Mercuri,  Federico José Piantini
    Conductor:  Matthew Phillips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony Orchestra of America
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  • 15.
    10 Jahre Herforder Orgelsommer / Stefan Kagl
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 13751 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George W. Chadwick,  Jean Langlais,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Kagl,  Franz Josef Stoiber
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  • 16.
    The Story of American Classical Music / Scherer, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558164-65 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Adams,  Philip Glass,  George Rochberg,  Elliott Carter  ... 
    Performer:  Adele Anthony,  Peter Skaerved,  Mark Wait,  Mike Eldred  ... 
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop,  Takuo Yuasa,  Christopher Lyndon-Gee,  Kenneth Schermerhorn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Sinfonietta Orchestra,  Ulster Orchestra,  Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    American Character - Piano Music of George Whitefield Chadwick
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 745 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick
    Performer:  Peter Kairoff
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  • 18.
    Chadwick: Symphonic Sketches, Etc / Järvi, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10032 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 19.
    American Classics - Chadwick: Thalia, Melpomene, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559117 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick
    Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Chadwick: Aphrodite, Symphonic Suite, Etc / Serebrier, Czech State Po Brno
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 2104 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brno Czech State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    American Dreams - Barber, Et Al / Leppard, Indianapolis So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 458157 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Hoagy Carmichael,  Arthur Foote,  John Alden Carpenter  ... 
    Performer:  Arkady Orlovsky,  Hidetaro Suzuki
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    1998 Midwest Clinic /
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 2966 Release Date: 01/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anthony Plog,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  William Alwyn,  John Philip Sousa  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Foley,  Michael J. Colburn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 23.
    Chadwick: Symphonies 2 & 3 / Järvi, Detroit Symphony
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9685 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George W. Chadwick
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $18.99
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  • 24.
    Sure On This Shining Night / Robert White, Samuel Sanders
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66920 Release Date: 04/10/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amy Marcy Beach,  John Musto,  Horatio Parker,  Victor Herbert  ... 
    Performer:  Robert White,  Samuel Sanders
    CD: $21.99
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  • 25.
    As The Dew From Heaven Distilling - Parker & Thayer / Moyer
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 290 Release Date: 07/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joseph J. Daynes,  César Franck,  Charles Hubert Parry  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Moyer
    On sale! $20.98
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