Page, Nathaniel Clifford



Contemporary American composer, of old New England stock; born at San Francisco. At twelve years of age he was composing operas, and at sixteen began to study the theory of music seriously with several teachers, chief among them Edgar Stillman Kelley. In May, 1889, his first opera, The First Lieutenant, was produced at the Tivoli Opera House in San Francisco, and since then he has written five comic and dramatic light operas, including Villiers, descriptive of English life in Cromwell's time; an Oriental opera; and one with scenes laid in Brazil; also much incidental music for plays, notably, The Moonlight Blossom, a Japanese play, which met with cordial approval when given under his own direction at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London, in 1899; and The Japanese Nightingale, personally conducted by him at Daly's Theatre, New York, in 1903. His Japanese music is based on recognized native themes and is especially good in coloring, while all his music is excellently descriptive and effectively orchestrated. He is particularly interested in orchestral composition, and has written The Village Fete (Petite Suite in B flat), produced by the Manuscript Society of New York in 1896, and several other suites, for grand orchestra. Many songs and a few small works for the piano also bear his name. He was president of the San Francisco Philharmonic Society in 1893; has conducted various operatic and dramatic productions. He has also taught harmony and orchestration. During his long residence in New York, from 1895 to 1905, he was a member of the Manuscript Society and of the New Music Society of America. Since 1905 he has been a member of the editorial staff of the Oliver Ditson Company of Boston.