Dean of American Organists">

American-born organ virtuoso Clarence Eddy pursued and developed an international career, living in Chicago for much of his life (with sojourns in Paris, New York and San Francisco), playing frequently and enlarging his influence through teaching, writing, consulting on organs, editing, transcribing and even composing a few organ works.

Befriending major figures such as Alexandre Guilmant, Eddy frequently commanded large audiences for annual recitals in Paris while he was resident there, and elsewhere in Europe. His marriage to singer and heiress Sara Hershey, who established the Hershey Music School in Chicago, abetted his prominence and influence as a Chicago musical fixture, where he established his reputation with a series of 100 recitals without any repeats of literature. Marathon recital tours with hundreds of programs throughout the U. S. even into the 1920s made Eddy's name a household word at a time when the organ was a mainline means of musical communication.

In this first biography of Eddy, William Osborne examines the facts of his early career in New England, in Berlin as a student of Haupt and others for two years and later as an international recitalist, with major teaching and church positions in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. The author presents examples of the many hundreds of programs Eddy played (and includes those Eddy both managed and played at the 1893 World's Coumbian Exposition), examines Eddy's work as a composer, editor, and pedagogue, and discusses Eddy's contributions as a music critic in Chicago during the latter years of his life. Organs designed by Eddy, especially several large ones, as well as Eddy's advocacy of technical innovation in organbuilding, open further insight into this interesting figure. His divorce, remarriage, and late-life reliance on a Chicago portrait painter round out this portrait.

416 pages, hardbound, illustrated, published by the Organ Historical Society. ISBN 0-913499-17-X

. . . welcome this extensively researched and highly readable portrait of the organ's most enthusiastic and prominent proponent of the early part of the last century. reviews James Hartman in The Diapason, June 2001.

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