Gleason, Frederic Grant, 1848-1903

Alternative names
Birth 1848
Death 1903
French, German, English

Biographical notes:

Composer, musician, music critic for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, and director of the Chicago Auditorium Theater concerts.

Frederic Grant Gleason was born in Middleton, Connecticut, on Dec. 18, 1848. He studied composition at Hartford, Connecticut under Dudley Buck, and continued his musical education in Leipzig, Berlin, and London, from 1869 to 1875. After a brief return to Connecticut to be a church organist, Gleason moved to Chicago in 1877 to teach at the Hershey School of Musical Art, and became active in teaching and composition in the city. He was elected President of the Manuscript Society of Chicago in 1896, and was a member of the Manuscript Society of New York since its founding. He was elected President General of the American Patriotic Musical League in 1897, and was a life-long member of the Music Teachers National Association as well as a member of the Illinois Music Teachers Association from 1886 to 1894. He taught at the Chicago Auditorium Conservatory, from about 1891-1903, becoming director for the last three years. He was also music critic of the Chicago Tribune, 1887-1891, contributing articles and reviews to various other musical papers. Gleason composed operas, cantatas, sacred and secular vocal works, symphonic poems, chamber works, and works for piano and organ. His Auditorium Festival Ode, with words by poet Harriet Monroe, was performed at the opening of the Auditorium Theater in 1889. He also had several of his works performed during the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of first music director Theodore Thomas, also premiered some of his works. Gleason married vocalist Grace A. Hiltz in 1879, and Mabel Blanche Kennicott in 1887. Gleason died of pneumonia in Chicago on Dec. 6, 1903.

From the description of Frederic Grant Gleason papers, 1852-1908. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 213408239


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  • Arts--Press coverage
  • Composition (Music)
  • Manuscripts, American
  • Composers--19th century
  • Music teachers--19th century
  • Conservatories of music--History--19th century
  • Music critics--19th century
  • Newspapers--Sections, columns, etc.--Reviews


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  • Chicago (Ill.) (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)