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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » C » Chadwick, George Whitefield

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George Whitefield Chadwick (11/13/1854 - 4/04/1931)

George Whitefield Chadwick was proud of his old New England stock, traceable to 1630. He felt no need to prove his nationality, yet he became the first composer of concert music whose works often show the snap, the wit, the independence of the American.

As a young man Chadwick heard the première of Paine’s First Symphony and was inspired with the idea that an American could compose symphonies. He defied his puritanical father to study music professionally, even after he had been removed from school to work in his father’s insurance office. He studied on his own while functioning as a music teacher and developed a refined taste in literature and art. Study in Leipzig with Jadassohn and in Munich with Rheinberger (1877–1880) gave him a professional finish. He made an early mark with the Rip Van Winkle overture, performed in both Germany and America.



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