Archive for May, 2010

Another of the Wa-Wan press composers, Frederic Ayres (1876-1926) was born in Binghamton, NY, and studied engineering at Cornell University before turning to composition under the tutelage of Arthur Foote. Afterward, Ayres spent most of his career in the Colorado Springs area, composing and teaching music theory. As with many of his Wa-Wan counterparts, Ayres drew inspiration from the music and culture of Native Americans, but also looked to Shakespeare and folk tales as sources for his songs.

A number of Ayres’s compositions have been digitized under Sibley’s current project, including his sonata for violin and piano, op. 15.


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David Hochstein (1892-1918) is a musician that has posthumously touched the lives of many Rochester, NY musicians.  David was born into a family of Russian immigrants, and was given his first violin on his fifth birthday.  He progressed very quickly and was provided funding for his musical studies by Emily Sibley Watson.  At age 17, Hochstein graduated from high school and continued his violin studies in Vienna and St. Petersburg.  At the age of 22, David was loaned two violins, a Landolphi and a Stradivarius by the philanthropist George Eastman.   In 1917, David Hochstein joined the army.  At the age of 26, this brilliant musician’s life was cut short at the 1918 Battle of Argonne.  The David Hochstein Music School was opened in 1920 in his memory, providing lessons for all music students, no matter their financial means.

Hochstein composed a number of works and arrangements through the publisher Carl Fisher.  You can find his Ballad for Violin and Piano in our digitized collection.  For more biographical information on David Hochstein, you can read An Unfinished Symphony: The Story of David Hochstein by Grace N. Kraut.

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As we finish uploading the huge amount of music for 2 instruments we’ve been working on for the past couple of months, we’ve begun pulling the even larger amount of music for solo instruments that we’ll begin digitizing and posting next. Sibley has many interesting things in this part of the collection. Aside from scores for all the organists, pianists, and violinists out there, you’ll also be seeing public domain music for some instruments you might not have expected, including guitar, saxophone, and accordion.

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