Horatio Parker (b. 1863, Auburndale, Massachusetts; d. 1919, Cedarhurst, West Indies)
Horatio Parker was a composer, teacher, and theorist. He began music studies at age 14 and later studied composition with George Whitefield Chadwick in Boston and Josef Rheinberger in Munich. He was a professor, choirmaster, and organist at various theological schools in Boston and New York City. Parker was appointed the first chairman of the music department at Yale University, where his most famous students included Charles Ives, Roger Sessions, and Quincy Porter.
Parker was one of the most internationally successful U.S. composers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His oratorio
Hora Novissima, one of the most famous and widely sung choral works of the time, was performed at the Three Choirs Festival in England. His opera
Mona was produced at the Metropolitan Opera in 1912. His highly acclaimed concert aria
Crépuscule was performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, also in 1912. Other compositions include a concerto for organ and orchestra, many shorter organ works (twenty-one of which were published as a collection of recital pieces in 1915), and numerous hymns and cantatas.
Parker’s health deteriorated during World War I. He died of pneumonia on a trip to the West Indies in late 1919.