Thayer, Whitney Eugene
Well-known American organist; born at Mendon, Mass. He began studying organ when fourteen years old, and by 1862 had acquired such a reputation as an organist that he was one of the players who performed at the opening of the great organ in Boston Music Hall, playing Bach's grand fugue in G minor on this occasion. During 1865 and 1866 he studied organ in Germany under Wieprecht and Haupt and other musicians. On his return he became director of a Boston Choral Union and of the New England Church Music Association and editor of the Choir Journal and the Organists' Journal. He was organist at Music Hall and was the inaugurator of free organ recitals, giving his first one in 1869 in the old Hollis Street Church. In 1881 he went to New York as organist to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, where he remained until 1888. He died at Burlington, Vermont. He holds a very high place in the ranks of American organists, and his ability was recognized also in England, for he received the degree of Doctor of Music from Oxford University.