Whiting, George Elbridge



American musician, who occupies a prominent position, especially as organist and organ composer. He was born at Holliston, Mass., and is a brother of Amos Whiting, from whom he received instruction at an early age. Following his advice he gave up the piano for the organ and made rapid advance, at the age of thirteen playing in a concert at Worcester, Mass. Three years later he succeeded Dudley Buck as organist of the North Congregational Church at Hartford. He became influential in musical circles there and founded the Beethoven Society In 1862 he went to Boston, where he became organist in various churches. Wishing to continue his studies he placed himself under G. W. Morgan of New York, for a while, then went to Liverpool to study under the famous organist, Best, who considered him competent to take his place. Returning to America, Whiting accepted the position of organist of St. Joseph's Church, Albany. The soprano in the choir at that time was the famous Emma la Jeunesse, afterwards known as Albani. After a three years' engagement  he went to Boston as leader at King's Chapel. In 1872 he completed his studies in Berlin by a course of harmony under Haupt, and orchestration under Radecke. Returning to Boston he became concert organist at Music Hall in 1874 and was also placed in charge of the organ department of the New England Conservatory. This latter position he left between 1878 and 1882, when he went to Cincinnati to be principal organ instructor at the newly established College of Music. He also had charge of the great organ of the Music Hall, where several May Festivals were given during his stay. Returning to Boston he resumed his position at the Conservatory, which he held until 1897, when he resigned. He has instructed many of the leading organists of the country. For years he has been organist and director of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. As an organ composer Mr. Whiting holds the first place in the country. He has mastered the Gregorian tones. His church-music, both vocal and instru- mental, is good and includes four masses and a Te Deum. Of his cantatas, the best are The Tale of the Viking, Henry of Navarre and the March of the Monks of Bangpr. Others are Dream Pictures, Midnight, and some in manuscript. A one-act Italian opera, Lenore, is his latest work of the kind. For orchestra he has written a symphony, an overture and a piano concerto.