MacDowell, Edward Alexander, 1860–1908, American composer, b. New York City. He studied at the conservatories in Paris and Frankfurt and taught (1881–82) at the Darmstadt Conservatory. He held the first chair of music at Columbia Univ. from 1896 until 1904. His outstanding works are four programmatic piano sonatas— Tragica (1893), Eroica (1895), Norse (1900), and Keltic (1901)—and his Indian Suite (1897) for orchestra, which employs adaptations of Native American melodies. In addition, he wrote two piano concertos and numerous smaller works, including the popular Woodland Sketches (1896) and Sea Pieces (1898) for piano. The MacDowell Colony for composers, artists, and writers, founded by his widow, Marian Nevins MacDowell, at their summer home in Peterborough, N.H., is a fulfillment of a plan of MacDowell's.
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