1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Parker, Horatio William
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Parker, Horatio William
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PARKER, HORATIO WILLIAM (1863-1919), American composer and musician, was born at Auburndale, Mass., Sept. 15 1863. His talent for composition manifested itself early; before he was 15, for example, in less than two days he set to music the verses in Kate Greenaway's Under the Window. He studied first in Boston, but later attended for three years the Royal Conservatory in Munich. After his return to America in 1885 he was for two years professor of music in the Cathedral School of St. Paul in Garden City, Long Island. From 1888 to 1893 he was organist of Trinity church, New York City, and from 1893 to 1901 organist of Trinity church, Boston. In 1894 he was appointed professor of the theory of music at Yale. Cambridge University bestowed on him the degree of Mus. Doc. in 1902. Before leaving New York City he had completed his oratorio, Hora Novissima, which was widely performed in America. It was also given in England in 1899 at Chester and at the “Three Choirs” festival at Worcester, the latter an honour never before paid an American composer. While carrying out the duties of his position at Yale he composed much. His opera Mona (libretto by Brian Hooker) won the Metropolitan Opera Company's $10,000 prize in 1911, and in 1914 his opera Fairyland (also with Hooker) was awarded another prize of the same amount offered by the National Federation of Women's Clubs. His cantata Morven and the Grail was written in 1915 for the centenary celebration of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston. His other works include the cantatas King Trojan and The Kobolds, the oratorios St. Christopher and A Wanderer's Psalm, besides numerous sacred and secular pieces. He died at Cedarhurst, Long Island, Dec. 18 1919.