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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Saturday, June 27

George Templeton Strong, Jr.

Synopsis

The name "George Templeton Strong" crops up frequently in both the Ken Burns PBS documentary on the Civil War and Ric Burn's history of New York. THAT George Templeton Strong was a lawyer and music lover who lived in New York City from 1820-1875, who documented in some four millions words of diary entries a detailed picture of daily life in that city.

But there's another member of the family we'd like to tell you about—the son of the famous diarist, George Templeton Strong, Junior, who was born in New York in 1856, and died in Geneva, Switzerland on today's date in 1948.

The younger Strong became a fine oboist who played off and on in various New York orchestras of his day. His father was not very happy with that: he wanted his son to study law. Moreover, Junior rebelled against his father's ultra-conservative tastes in music. Strong Senior detested the music of Liszt and Wagner, whereas Strong Jr., who eventually became a composer, modeled his works on those very composers.

It's perhaps an all-too familiar story of youthful rebellion, and it's documented painfully in the final entries of the elder Strong's diaries. Shortly before his father's death, the son had left home after a bitter argument, and in 1879, he moved to Europe, eventually settling in Switzerland, where he pursued a dual artistic career as composer and watercolorist.

Music Played in Today's Program

George Templeton Strong (1856 - 1948) Evening Dance, fr Suite No. 2 Moscow Symphony; Adriano, cond. Naxos 8.559078

Additional Information

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