Converse, Frederick


Converse, Frederick

The Mystic Trumpeter for orchestra

SKU: 3059 Category:


Frederick Shepherd Converse
(b. Newton, Massachusetts, January 15, 1871 –  d. Westwood, Massachusetts, June 8, 1940)

The Mystic Trumpeter

Moderato molto e tranquillo p.3
Poco più moto, arnoroso p.18
Allegro con molto fuoco p.35
Adagio lamentoso p.52
Poco largamente, Grazioso, Allegro molto p.56


Walt Whitman’s vast collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, is recognized as one of the most important works of American literature. The Mystic Trumpeter is contained in the collection and with its musical associations, has served as inspiration for numerous composers, including Gustav Holst, Howard Hanson, Hamilton Harty, Norman Dello Joio, Luca Bonvini, James Curnow, Jerry Marshall, Kate Moore, Carol Barnett, Rob Kapilow, Shawn Kirchner, Scott Watson, George Steele, John Corina, Claude Baker, Janika Vandervelde and Andrew Kinney.

Frederick Shepherd Converse was born in Newton, Massachusetts on January 5, 1871. His father was a successful businessman and Frederick grew up in a prosperous upper class household. He exhibited an early affinity towards music both in his piano lessons and beginning attempts at composition. Eventually matriculating at Harvard, he studied composition with John Knowles Paine, at the time the only faculty member teaching music at that institution. Converse graduated in 1893 (BA with highest honors in music) with his thesis, Violin Sonata (op. 1), performed at the commencement concert. Soon after, following his father’s wishes, he entered the world of business, working for a local bank. After only three months he left this position and decided to pursue music as a career. His father had passed away during this time and left a sizable inheritance, leaving Fredrick free from financial worries. In 1896 he went to Germany to further his musical education, enrolling at the Königliche Hochschule der Tonkunst in Munich, studying counterpoint, composition and organ with the noted pedagogue Josef Rheinberger. Converse graduated in 1898 with highest honors and his Symphony in D-minor had its first performance on the occasion of his graduation.


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