Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

George Chadwick

From Wind Repertory Project
Jump to navigation Jump to search
George Chadwick


George Whitefield Chadwick (13 November 1854, Lowell, Mass. – 4 April 1931, Boston, Mass.) was an American composer.

Chadwick received some early musical training from organ lessons given by his older brother, Fitz Henry. He developed an independent, self-reliant character early in his life. Dropping out of high school in 1871, Chadwick assisted briefly in his father's insurance business. The experience enabled him to travel to Boston and other cities, where he attended concerts and cultural events that might have initiated his lifelong interest in the arts.

Chadwick entered New England Conservatory (NEC) as a "special student" in 1872, where he could study with the faculty without satisfying the rigorous entrance or degree requirements. However, he approached his studies more seriously and took advantage of what NEC offered. Chadwick studied organ with George E. Whiting (1840–1923), piano with Carlyle Petersilea (1844–1903), and theory with Stephen A. Emery (1841–1891), each of whom was well respected in the Boston music scene. In America, he also pursued studies with Eugene Thayer.

In 1876, Chadwick accepted a faculty position within the music program at Olivet College and was a valued instructor as well as administrator. While at Olivet, Chadwick founded the Music Teachers National Association. The first evidence of his interest in composing appeared during this time, from a performance of his Canon in E-flat dated 6 November 1876.

Along with Horatio Parker, Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, and Edward MacDowell, he was a representative composer of what can be called the New England School of American composers of the late 19th century—the generation before Charles Ives. Chadwick's works are influenced by the Realist movement in the arts, characterized by a down-to-earth depiction of people's lives. Many consider his music to portray a distinctively American style. His works included several operas, three symphonies, five string quartets, tone poems, incidental music, songs and choral anthems. Along with a group of other composers collectively known as the Boston Six, Chadwick was one of those responsible for the first significant body of concert music by composers from the United States. The other five were Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker.

Works for Winds