During the early 1900s, Horatio Parker was one of the best-known composers in the United States. He received numerous commissions and was a patriarchal figure among America's Protestant church musicians and choral societies; his symphonic works were performed by the leading orchestras of the day; and he headed the Yale School of Music for twenty-five years. Kearns's study is a thorough analysis of the circumstances leading to Parker's popularity in pre- World War I America and his neglect thereafter. The book includes a detailed narration of the composer's life and an extensive description of his major works. Over fifty examples of his music are included, as well as a comprehensive listing of works and writings.
William Kearns (Ph.D., musicology, University of Illinois) is Professor of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has taught classes in the history of American music for 25 years. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Sonneck Society of American music specialists and the editor of its Newsletter and has written numerous articles and reviews on American music.