Fairlamb, James Remington


American composer, who was born in Philadelphia and who at fourteen was a church organist and at sixteen composed his first work. He received most of his early musical instruction from his mother, and subsequently was a pupil of Charles Boyer. He pursued his studies later in Italy and Germany, and at the Paris Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Prudent and Marmontel in piano and studied vocal music with Mme. Beckholtz-Falcon and M. Masset. Fairlamb was appointed Consul at Zurich by President Lincoln. While in Stuttgart he was decorated by the King of Wurtemburg with a gold medal for his Te Deum for double chorus and orchestra. Returning from Germany to the United States in 1865, he located temporarily at Washington and later moved to Philadelphia, where he afterwards held various church positions. He was for a time identified with the direction of operatic affairs, producing with his own local company in Washington, D. C., Faust and II Trovatore. The same company brought out his grand opera in four acts, Valerie. Fairlamb was supervisor of music in the public schools of New York City from 1898 to 1899, was also organist in that city from 1884 at the Church of St. Ignatius, and organist at churches in Elizabeth, N. J., and at Jersey City. Fairlamb was identified with the first production in America of Sullivan's operas, Pinafore and The Sorcerer. Afterward he succeeded the English composer, Alfred Collier in directing the Conley-Barton Company. Beside the opera mentioned above, Fairlamb wrote two others, Treasured Tokens, and Leonello. Besides he published two hundred compositions, including numerous songs; choral works; several piano pieces, and a mass in B flat. His sacred songs numbering nearly one hundred include his contributions to the St. Nicholas Song Book. As a teacher he was held in high esteem, and his works are generally of a high order. He was elected a member of the Manuscript Society and of its board of directors, and was one of the founders of the American Guild of Organists and a member of its council.