Author Topic: Edward Joseph Collins (1886 - 1951)  (Read 1148 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Edward Joseph Collins (1886 - 1951)
« on: April 06, 2015, 07:05:33 PM »
Composer and pianist Edward Joseph Collins was born 10 November 1886 in Joliet, Illinois, the youngest of nine children. After early studies in Joliet, be began work with Rudolf Ganz in Chicago. In 1906, he traveled with Ganz to Berlin, where he enrolled in the Hochschule für Musik in performance and composition. Upon graduation, he made a successful concert debut in Berlin, winning positive reviews from several critics.

After Collins returned to the United States in the fall of 1912, he toured several larger eastern cities, again winning strong reviews. After serving as an assistant conductor at the Century Opera Company in New York, he traveled again to Europe , to become an assistant conductor at the Bayreuth Festival, a position cut short by the outbreak of WW I.

During that war, Collins rose from Private to Lieutenant. He served as an interpreter, entertained the troops as pianist, and received a citation for bravery.

Upon return to Chicago, he began a career in teaching, joining the faculty of Chicago Musical College. He later married Frieda Mayer, daughter of Oscar Mayer.

Collins had co-authored Who Can Tell? in Europe near the end of WWI; the operetta was enjoyed in Paris by President Wilson. Collins continued composing on return to the USA. Two compositions submitted to a Chicago competition in 1923 were among the finalists, one the outright winner. Both works attracted the attention of Frederick Stock, Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Stock conducted the first performance of 1914 (Tragic Overture) and, eventually, many of Collins's subsequent orchestral compositions as well.

Collins died 7 December 1951, leaving an oeuvre comprised of ten major orchestral works (including a symphony, two overtures and three suites), three piano concerti, Hymn to the Earth (for orchestra, choir, and four solo voices), several chamber works, 15 songs for voice and piano (four arranged by Verne Reynolds for chamber/string orchestra), and more than a dozen piano solo and duo scores.

(Bio taken from composer's website)


I just discovered this composer tonight and was taken aback by his music (or what little I heard). I listened to his Hibernia (Irish Rhapsody) and was delighted to hear some Delius influence as well some Strauss here and there. Basically, Collins is an American Impressionist and I'm excited about hearing more of his music. Albany Records has an entire series devoted to Collins' music and they have conveniently boxed all of the recordings up, so I snatched it up tonight. Anyone else familiar with this composer's music?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 07:07:53 PM by Mirror Image »
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