Robyn, Alfred George



American composer; born in St. Louis; of mixed Scotch and French descent; was the son and pupil of William Robyn, who founded in that city the first symphony orchestra west of Pittsburg. He was a prodigy as a pianist, playing in public at the age of nine in a trio at a Philharmonic concert, and the next year succeeding his father, then ill, as organist of St. John's, which at that time had the best choir in St. Louis. He held this position for a year, and ever since has been in demand as an organist in his native city, with the musical life of which he has been identified, his entire life having been spent there with the exception of a year as solo pianist with the Abbott Company. He is also popular socially in his home city. His works number about three hundred, many of which have been very popular, especially his songs. The compositions that are considered to be of real musical worth are a quintet and four quartets for strings; several orchestral suites; a mass, and a piano concerto in C minor. Other orchestral numbers are a symphony in D minor, and a symphonic poem, Pompeii. He has written several operas, Marlin; Yankee Consul; Gypsy Girl; Jacinta; Manette; The Buccaneer's Bride; Princess Beggar, and Yankee Tourist. His operettas are Beans and Buttons; Court-martial; Soldier in Petticoats; and A Slim Legacy. An oratorio, The Ascension, was produced in St. Louis in 1903. A Mass of the Sacred Heart was written in memory of his father. Various piano compositions, including four impromptu and four characteristic pieces; and about two hundred ballads, of which the most popular have been You; Answer; It was a Dream; Yearning; and Good- night have been written by him.