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George Templeton Strong (1856 - 1948)

George Templeton Strong was born in New York on 26 May 1856. His father, a lawyer and a friend of Abraham Lincoln, was president of the New York Philharmonic Society. Strong’s parents were both amateur musicians and encouraged their son’s study of the piano, oboe and viola. Attendance at the Philharmonic rehearsals and concerts was another part of his education, although his father opposed his wish to become a professional musician. Against his father’s will, Strong occasionally undertook engagements as an oboist and English horn player for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1879 he travelled to Europe to study at the Leipzig Conservatory with Salomon Jadassohn, Richard Hofmann and Joachim Raff, and to earn his living as a viola player in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Afterwards, he settled in Wiesbaden, where he completed his Symphony No 2 “Sintram” in 1888. During his years of study in Germany he had frequented the circles of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner and his 1883 symphonic poem Undine was dedicated to Liszt, who approved of the work.




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