Arthur Farwell


Arthur Farwell (23 March 1872 - 20 January 1952) was an American composer, conductor, educationalist, lithographer, esoteric savant, and music publisher. Farwell was born in St Paul, Minnesota. He trained as an engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1893, but was turned towards a musical career by contact with the eccentric Boston-based composer Rudolf Gott. After studying in Boston, he became a pupil of Humperdinck in Berlin and Guilmant in Paris. Returning to the U.S., he lectured in music at Cornell University from 1899 to 1901, and founded the Wa-Wan Press, dedicated to publishing the works of the American Indianist composers, among whom Farwell himself was a leading figure. From 1910 to 1913 Farwell directed municipal concerts in New York City, including massed performances of choral works, some of them his own, by up to 1,000 voices. He directed the Settlement Music School in NY from 1915-18 before moving to California, where his private pupils included the young Roy Harris. Acting Head of music department at the University of California, Berkeley in 1918-19, he founded the Santa Barbara Community Chorus, was first holder of the composer's fellowship of the Music & Art Association of Pasadena (1921-25), taught theory at Michigan State College (1927-39) and eventually settled in New York. Nicolas Slonimsky noted in Baker's Biographical Dictionary that Disillusioned about commercial opportunities for American music, including his own, he establi...

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