Shelley, Harry Rowe



Gifted American composer and organist, who was born in New Haven, Connecticut. While a student at Yale he studied music with Gustav J. Stockel, and later in New York pursued his studies with Dudley Buck. He also enjoyed a period of study under Dvorak, during the stay of the famous Bohemian composer in this country. In Paris Mr. Shelley was the pupil of several masters, but most of his musical education has been acquired at home. When only fourteen he became organist of the Center Church at New Haven, has been organist at Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, of Dr. Storr's Church, Brooklyn, of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church of New York. At present he has charge of the classes in theory and composition at the Metropolitan College, New York. He has composed much meritorious music and is classed by musical critics among the most talented and promising of the musicians of New York. Among his works are a sacred cantata, The Inheritance Divine; and an orchestral suite, Souvenir de Baden-Baden, which includes the Morning Promenade, Siesta, Ball and Serenade Orientale; two symphonies were performed in New York in 1897; a violin concerto, given in 1891; and his cantata, Vexilla Regis, heard in 1894. One of Mr. Shelley's most successful works is a fantasia for piano and orchestra, and two of his ballads are widely known. They are his setting of Tom Moore's Minstrel Boy and Love's Sorrow. His other compositions are a symphonic poem, The Crusaders; a dramatic overture, Francesca di Rimini; a fantasy for piano and orchestra, written for Rafael Joseffy; a one-act musical extravaganza; a three-act lyric drama; dance of the Egyptian Maidens; and much sacred music, including several Te Deums; Evening Prayer; March of the Centuries; and pieces for the organ, besides many transcriptions for that instrument. His Life and Death, published in 1898 and is especially suited to Easter services. Mr. Shelley has also published The Modern Organist, a collection of works of modern organists, with original arrangements.