Fisher, William Arms


An American composer; born in San Francisco; derived his name from the two composers, Joshua Fisher and William Arms, who settled in Massachusetts in the Seventeenth Century. He studied harmony and piano with John P. Morgan, and after several years devoted to business he decided to give his best talents to music, and in 1890 came to New York to study singing. He went next to London, continuing his studies there under William Shakespeare. Returning to New York he placed himself under the instruction of Horatio W. Parker, studying counterpoint and fugue with this teacher and composition and instrumentation with Dvorak. He was a teacher of harmony for many years, and is at present a resident of Boston, where he is engaged in teaching singing and composition, and where, since 1897, he has been editor for Oliver Ditson & Co. Fisher's work has been almost wholly the composition of songs. Among them are settings of three of Shelley's poems, Songs Without Tears, all for bass voice, and generally considered the best of his lyrics; a setting of Edmund Clarence Stedman FalstafFs song; Joy, and an elegie for violin and piano, beside considerable church music. Fisher has also written numerous part-songs; anthems; and a volume of fifteen songs for children's voices.