Ford, Ernest A. C.


English conductor and composer, born at Warminster, Wilts, according to Grove, and in London according toother authorities. He is of Celtic descent. Ford became a chorister in Salisbury Cathedral when very young, singing there from 1868 until 1873. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, being a pupil of Sir Arthur Sullivan in composition, of Harold Thomas in piano, and of Dr. Steggall in organ. In 1875 Ford won the Sir John Goss Scholarship at the Royal Academy. Ford was conductor of the Trafalgar, now the Duke of York's Theatre, and the comic opera, The Wedding Eve, was revised and the two acts entirely re-written by him when produced under his direction at that playhouse. In 1897 the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society of London elected him conductor, a post he still holds. Ford was chosen by Sir Arthur Sullivan to conduct Ivanhoe on its first production in 1891; he was also director of the opera class at the Guildhall School of Music, and for a good many years his services have been in demand at nearly all the prominent London churches, among them Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral. He has acted as accompanist at the Saturday Popular concerts in London, and in 1887 he visited the United States. His works consist of the operas, Daniel O'Rourke, and Jean; the comic opera, Jane Annie, with the book by J. M. Barrie and Dr. Conan Doyle, produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, with moderate success in 1893; a cantata for female voices, The Eve of the Festa; a motet, Domine Deus, with English words, performed at the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Harvard University; the ballets, La Frolique, Brighton Pier, Faust, and La Danse, written for the Empire Theatre, London, of which Mr. Ford is the present conductor. He has also composed musical settings for a number of Shelley's poems; has written numerous songs and duets; the music to the ballets produced at the Empire Theatre; and much sacred music. His orchestra works are numerous, and he has composed a Scene Bacchanale produced by Robert Newman at the Queen's Hall in 1897. Mr. Ford was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1899.