Victor Herbert (1 February 1859, Dublin, Ireland - 26 May 1924, New York City) was a naturalized American conductor and composer of operettas. His is one of the most beloved names in all of American music. His operettas, comic operas, and many other songs have been very popular, and the list of his compositions is long and varied.
Herbert gained considerable experience and education as a cellist in Germany and Austria. Shortly after marrying Therese Forster in Vienna in August, 1886, he came to the United States to be principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He quickly became assistant conductor of the orchestra. In 1892, he succeeded Patrick Gilmore as leader of the famous 22nd Regiment Band of the New York National Guard. In 1893, he succeeded D.W. Reeves as leader of the Gilmore’s civilian band (Gilmore died in 1892). He was conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1898-1902. Herbert became a citizen of the United States in 1902.
A proponent of composers’ rights, he waged a constant battle against unscrupulous users of his own music and that of his colleagues and joined with John Philip Sousa and others in this cause. He was one of the founders of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), which protects copyrights and collects royalties on behalf of the organization’s members.
Works for Winds
- American Fantasie
- Festival March
- The Fortune Teller (arr. Campbell-Watson) (1898/1941)
- The Gold Bug (1896)
- Italian Street Song (arr. Barrow) (1910/1987)
- March of the Toy Soldiers (arr. Kinyon) (1903/1993)
- March of the Toys (arr. Clarke; ed. Rogers) (1903/1999)
- Pan Americana
- Romany Life (arr. Daehn) (1898/2009)
- Twenty-Second Regiment March
- Under the Elms
- Victor Herbert Favorites (arr. Lake) (1926)
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Victor Herbert." Accessed 15 December 2014.