Theodore J. Stearns

Theodore J. Stearns

Fellow: Awarded 1927
Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada

As published in the Foundation’s Report for 1926–27:

Stearns, Theodore: Appointed for creative work in musical composition, in Germany, principally for the completion and orchestration of his opera “Atlantis”; tenure, twelve months for June 1, 1927.

Born June 10, 1881, at Berea, Ohio. Education: In Cleveland, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Wuerzberg, Bavaria, M.A., 1898. Studied violin in Cleveland with Amme; piano and theory with Emil Ring.

Conducted the Cleveland High School Orchestra and played viola in the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra; conducted opera and symphony in Wuerzburg; conducted for the Joseph F. Sheehan English Grand Opera Company, for Victor Herbert, Fritz Kreisler’s “Apple Blossoms” and others from 1903 to 1920; Editor of The Etude, one year; musical critic, Chicago Herald-Examiner, 1922; musical critic, New York Morning Telegraph, 1924—; Advisory Editor, Singing.

Compositions: “Hiawatha,” an opera to a libretto adapted by himself from Longfellow’s poem, (1894); “Ten Songs,” (1895); “Endymion,” an opera set to Keats’ poem and first played in concert form at Wuerzburg, (1896), produced at Hof-Geismar, (1897); “Indian Suite” for orchestra, first played in Wuerzburg, (1898), by Fritz Scheel with the Philadelphia Symphony in 1901, by Victor Herbert at Willow Grove Park (1903), and at a Sunday-morning Symphony Concert by the Chicago Theatre Symphony Orchestra, (1923); “Snowbird,” one-act lyric episode to the composer’s own text, first produced by the Chicago Civic Opera, January 13, 1923, and repeated the following season—accepted for production at the Dresden Staats Operhaus for season 1927–28 and also at Wuerzburg Stadttheater after the Dresden première (this opera received the David Bisphan Memorial Medal); “Tiberio,” symphonic poem of orchestra, (1925); “Suite Caprèse,” orchestra suite, (1925); “Six Nature Songs,” (1921-22); “Dreamland,” a song, (1923); “The Clover Field,” song for voice and orchestra, (1921), performed at Chicago Theatre Sunday Symphony concert, (1923); “Berceuse Amoureuse, “ song for voice and orchestra (1925); “The Olive Grove,” song to a quatrain by Leona Speyer, (1925).

Publications: “Co-O-Za,” original book for his opera “Atlantis,” 1922; contributed articles to various papers, notably the Outlook and Singing.


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