White, Maude Valerie



Composer of many popular songs; born at Dieppe, of English parents. After some study in harmony and composition under W. S. Rockstro and Oliver May she entered the Royal Academy of Music, London, where her teacher in composition was Sir G. A. Macfarren. In 1879, after three years at the Academy, she won the Mendelssohn scholarship. Ill health caused her to visit South America in 1881, but upon her return in 1883 she completed her studies at Vienna. Previous to her departure, a portion of a mass of hers had been performed at a Royal Academy Students' Orchestral concert. Since 1883 she has lived in London. She has composed fourteen piano-pieces, violin and cello-pieces, but her great work is in her songs. She ranks among the first of song composers. Those which are considered the best are set to the words of Herrick and Shelley, particularly music to the latter's Promethus Unbound, which is entitled My Soul Is an Enchanted Boat. Best known are To Mary, Absent Yet Present, The Devout Lover, Ye Cupids, When Passion's Trance, To Blossoms, To Daffodils, A Widow Bird, To Music, Ophelia's Song, Ave Maria, So We'll Go no more a-Roving, Did One but Know. Miss White has written some delightful German and French songs, among which are music to Heine's Wenn ich in deine Augen seh and Im wunderschonen Monat Mai, to Victor Hugo's Chantez, chantez, jeune Inspiree and Heureux qui peut aimer, also a beautiful setting of Schiller's Ich habe gelebt und geliebt.