Whiting, Arthur Battelle



Well-known pianist, composer and teacher of New York City, who has emphasized the appreciation of music as a necessary part of a liberal education. Through his influence a series of eight concert lectures or expositions of classical and modern chamber-music have been instituted at Harvard and Princeton. Though heartily approved by the authorities of Amherst, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Yale and Williams, they have not as yet secured the necessary funds for the course. These lectures have been free and attendance has been voluntary, though restricted to under-graduates. The aim of the series is to interest the hearer in the biography, history and thematic and poetic construction of the compositions taken up, and then to proceed to the performance in regular recital form. The course has been enthusiastically attended and it is to be* hoped that other colleges will include it in their curriculum. Mr. Whiting is a nephew of G. E. Whiting, organist and composer, and in fact his whole family are musical. Born in Cambridge, Mass., his first public appearance was made in Boston at the age of nineteen. His instruction has been of the best, W. H. Sherwood having been his master on the piano, J. C. D. Parker in harmony, and George W. Chadwick in the higher grades of composition. In 1883 he went to Munich, where he studied under Rheinberger. Returning to America he took up his residence in Boston, but for the last few years he has lived in New York City. His early works are chiefly instrumental and orchestral and include piano, violin and cello compositions, also churchmusic. Later compositions include a suite in G minor for string orchestra and horn quartet; a violin sonata; and a wonderful fantasia for piano and orchestra in B flat minor. Being a prominent teacher and able performer on the piano, most of his compositions are for that instrument. A recent setting of Oliver Herford's cycle of poems, entitled Floriana, has been very successful, and a setting of some of Kipling's Barrack-room Ballads shows exquisite expression.