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5 symphonies, the tone poems Lucifer, Salome, The Ocean and many other works
for orchestra, band; piano trio, string quartet, piano quintet; many songs;
the operas Safie, opera in one act; libretto by E. Oxenford (1909, Mainz,
Germany), Azora, Daughter of Montezuma, opera in 3 acts; libretto by D.
Stevens (1917, Chicago Opera), Bianca, opera in one act; libretto by G.
Stewart after Goldoni (1918, New York), Cleopatra’s Night, Opera in 2 Acts;
Libretto by Alice Leal Pollock, after the story by Théophile Gautier (31
Jan. 1920, NY Met, Semper virens, music-drama; Libretto by J. Redding (1923,
Sonoma County, CA) and A Night in Old Paris, Libretto by F. Truesdell, after
G. McDonough (1924, New York)
Henry Kimball Hadley was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, on December 20,
1871. His father was a music teacher in the Somerville public schools, and
Hadley received his first music lessons from him. Hadley also studied
violin under Henry Heindl and Charles Allen, harmony under Stephen A. Emery,
and counterpoint and composition with George W. Chadwick, whose influence on
the young composer was considerable. By age twenty-one Hadley had composed a
string quartet, and a dramatic overture for orchestra. In 1894, Hadley
travelled to Vienna to study with Eusebius Mandyczewski, revered
musicologist and editor of authoritative editions of the works of Schubert,
Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms and Caldera.
In 1900 Hadley made his debut as conductor. Still seeking to perfect his
technique, Hadley returned to Europe in 1906 to study with Ludwig Thuille,
who introduced Hadley to the new music of Reger, Mahler and Richard Strauss.
He also guest-conducted orchestras in Berlin, Warsaw and at the Stadttheater
in Mainz. In 1909 he was appointed conductor of the Seattle Symphony
Orchestra. In 1911 he became the first conductor of the newly formed San
Francisco Symphony. He left his post in San Francisco in 1915 to pursue
composition full-time. although he continued for the rest of his life to
guest conduct many of the greatest musical organizations, including the
London Symphony and the Boston Symphony. From 1920 till 1927 he was
associate-conductor of the New York Philharmonic Society, and in 1929 he
formed the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra. With this latter organization
Hadley introduced many compositions of American composers with great
success, and his amazing promotion and support of American music and
composers has been matched only by Serge Koussevitzky and Howard Hanson.
Prevailing American prejudice against American musicians prevented him from
being given the directorship of a major US orchestra, though he was
considered for the directorship of Boston Symphony orchestra, brought on by
the vacancy left by Karl Muck, who had been denounced by the State
Department during World War I as "a dangerous enemy alien". Hadley’s
compositions were performed by many of the great conductors of the day, such
as Stokowski, Koussevitzky and Gustav Mahler, and by every major American
Orchestra and many others in Europe and Japan. Hadley was appointed
Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with them giving the
premiere of his tone poem The Ocean on November 17, 1921. (The Ocean is
recorded along with The Culprit Fay and the Symphony No.4 on Naxos American
Throughout his career Hadley’s compositions enjoyed tremendous popularity.
The Ocean was widely played, particularly by the Chicago and Boston
Symphony orchestras. His 3rd symphony premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic.
When asked about American composers Richard Strauss said of Hadley "You have
only one [composer]. Henry Hadley is the only man over there who knows the
orchestra". The Symphony No.4 "North, East South and West" was written in
Seattle and premiered there, later being taken up by the Philadelphia
Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony orchestra. For
his championing of Hadley’s music, Hadley dedicated the Othello Overture to
Leopold Stokowski, who premiered it on December 26, 1919 with the
Philadelphia Orchestra. The Culprit Fay won the National Federation of Music
Clubs prize of $1000 in 1909, winning over 24 other entries. The judges
were Charles Loeffler, Walter Damrosch and Henry E. Krehbiel. Its premiere
in Grand Rapids received a raucous reception, the audience standing on its
chairs and calling for the orchestra to repeat the work. The Culprit Fay
was played all over the United States and Europe, always meeting with great
success. The oratorio Resurgam (1921-22) was premiered in 1923 at the
Cincinnati May Festival, in which performance 1000 children and 300 adults
participated. This performance was a great success, and Resurgam was later
done in London. His greatest choral work, and one of Hadley