George Frederick Bristow  
George Frederick Bristow
George Frederick Bristow (December 19, 1825 – December 13, 1898) was an American composer. He advocated American classical music, rather than favoring European pieces. He was famously involved in a related controversy involving William Henry Fry and the New York Philharmonic Society.

Musical career

Bristow was born into a musical family in Brooklyn, New York. His father, William, a well-respected conductor, pianist, and clarinetist, gave his son lessons in piano, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and violin. George joined the first violin section of the New York Philharmonic Society Orchestra in 1843 at the age of seventeen, and remained there until 1879. The New York Philharmonic's records indicate that he was concertmaster between 1850 and 1853.

In the 1850s, Bristow became conductor of two choral organizations, the New York Harmonic Society and the Mendelssohn Union (and later several church choirs). In 1854, he began his long career as a music educator in the public schools of New York.

Throughout his life, Bristow was a champion of American music and a nationalist in his choice of texts. The amount and quality of his choral music, although mostly ignored by Grove's, makes Bristow a historically important choral composer.


Bristow's music
Bristow's compositional output is divided in three periods: his early years, during which most of the compositions are instrumental; the middle period beginning in 1852, during which he wrote more than forty works, several of them lengthy and imposing; and the late period, beginning in 1879 with Bristow's resignation from the New York Philharmonic. Of the 135 compositions listed in Rogers’ dissertation on Bristow's music, one-third are choral or vocal. Seven of his choral works are choral/orchestral pieces, and twenty-seven compositions are smaller pieces, most of which were composed for church choirs that he led. Both the short sacred works and the large choral/orchestral compositions are evenly divided between the middle and late periods.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Frederick Bristow: Symphony No. 2 in d minor, op.24, "Jullien" (1854)
The second symphony was dedicated to the French conductor and composer of dance music, Louis Antoine Julliet (1812-1860). The New York Philharmonic performed this symphony for the first time in 1856.

Orchestra: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) Karl Krueger, conductor

George Frederick Bristow: Symphony No. 3 in F minor, op.26 (1856)
The Jullien Symphony, No. 2, op. 24 of 1854
Symphony in F-sharp minor, op. 26 of 1856
The Arcadian Symphony No. 4, the "Pioneer", op. 49 of 1872
The Niagara Symphony. op. 62, of 1893 was never completed

Therefore, I am calling this symphony No. 3, because of the date of completion and it opus number.

Orchestra: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) Karl Krueger, conductor

George Frederick Bristow: Arcadian Symphony No. 4, op.49, "Pioneer" (1872)
The Arcadian Symphony was composed in 1872 and first performed this in 1874 by the New York Philharmonic. Bristow uses a theme by Thomas Tallis in the second movement of this symphony.

Orchestra: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) Karl Krueger, conductor

George Frederick Bristow - Dream Land
The title really says it all. Composed by Bristow in 1885, this gently flowing piano piece is unpublished.

Performed by Ivan Davis

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