Bradbury, William Bachelder


One of the pioneers of American music. He was a composer and teacher. Was born in Maine. Both his father and mother were musical, his father being a choir-leader and singing-teacher. In 1830 his parents moved to Boston, where the son took lessons on the organ and in four years time had become known as a fine organist. In 1840 he went to New York, where he lived until 1847 as a teacher and composer. From 1847 to 1849 Bradbury and his family were in Europe, where he studied in Leipsic, with Hauptmann, Moscheles and Bohme. After returning home he devoted his time from 1849 to 1854 to teaching, composing and conducting Musical Festivals, which were then very popular and were being held all over the country. In 1854, with his brother, he began manufacturing pianos. This business was carried on until 1869, by which time the Bradbury pianos had become quite popular. Bradbury was one of three men, the others being Lowell Mason and George F. Root, who did a great deal for church and vocal music in this country. Bradbury edited over fifty collections of music from 1841 to 1867, in all of which were many of his own compositions. Some of the best known of these collections, which had an immense sale, were The Jubilee, Fresh Laurels, and the Golden Series. He also wrote the cantatas Esther, the beautiful Queen, and Daniel. Bradbury was the editor of the New York Musical Review and collected a large and valuable musical library.