MacDowell, Edward Alexander

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. His work has been described as romantic, direct, and intentionally international in style. MacDowell 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. He also wrote two piano concertos, the 10-part New England Idyls (1902), 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.

See biography by E. D. Bomberger (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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