Willis, Richard Storrs



American composer; born in Boston; brother of Nathaniel P. Willis. During his college life at Yale he was president of the Beethoven Society, for which he wrote orchestral works and choruses. After his graduation in 1841 he went to Germany, where he studied harmony and musical form under von Wartensee in Frankfort-on-the-Main, and counterpoint and instrumentation under Hauptmann in Leipsic. He formed a friendship for Mendelssohn, who revised his composition. Returning in 1847 to New York he contributed to the press and later edited The Musical Times which afterwards consolidated with The Musical World, also founded a magazine, entitled Once a Month. Later in life he went to live in Detroit, Michigan. His compositions include much vocal music, church chorals, student songs, miscellaneous lyrics, a collection of patriotic songs called Waif of Song. He published Our Church Music and a volume of lyrics, Pen and Lute.