Herbert, Victor, 1859-1924

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1859-02-01
Death 1924-05-26
Americans

Biographical notes:

Composed 1884-85. First performance Stuttgart, 8 December 1885, the composer as soloist.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of 1st concerto for violoncello, op. 8 / by Victor Herbert. [1965?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 50216538

Victor Herbert (1859-1924) cellist, co-founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), conductor and composer is best known as the composer of light operas such as Babes in Toyland, The Red mill and Naughty Marietta.

From the description of Victor Herbert collection (bulk 1880-1924). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71128315

First performance Pittsburgh, 18 January 1901, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Hero and Leander : a symphonic poem, Op. 33 / by Victor Herbert. [1958?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 50216563

American composer, conductor, and cellist of Irish birth.

From the description of Clipped signature. : no content, 1859-1924. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270666154

From the description of "'The Nightingale and the Star' / (Henry Blossom) / Valse brillante (2d Act.) / Fifi. / Henry Blossom / Victor Herbert" : autograph manuscript, 1905. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270566384

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Aug. 29 1902, to J. Bernard Boss in Philadelphia, 1902 Aug. 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270666150

Victor Herbert, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1859, was the dominant composer for the Broadway musical stage from the late 1800s to the 1920s.

His major works include THE SERENADE (1897), THE FORTUNE TELLER (1898), BABES IN TOYLAND (1903), MLLE. MODISTE (1905), THE RED MILL (1906), NAUGHTY MARIETTA (1910), SWEETHEARTS (1913), and THE ONLY GIRL (1914). Mr. Herbert's most frequent lyric partner was Harry B. Smith.

A number of Victor Herbert musicals were adapted for film, including BABES IN TOYLAND (1934 and 1961), MLLE. MODISTE (retitled KISS ME AGAIN, 1931), NAUGHTY MARIETTA (1935), and SWEETHEARTS (1938). Mr. Herbert was also a cellist, a conductor and a leader in the formation of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). In 1939 a film, The Great Victor Herbert, was made about his life. Victor Herbert died in New York in 1924.

From the description of Papers, 1894-1973. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122626739

Biographical Note

  • 1859, Feb. 1: Born, Dublin, Ireland. Herbert’s mother, Fanny Lover, was the daughter of Irish novelist, poet and composer, Samuel Lover (1797-1868)
  • 1862: Herbert's father, Edward Herbert, a Dublin barrister, died in Paris
  • circa 1866: Herbert’s mother married German physician Wilhelm Schmidt Family moved to Stuttgart Herbert received general education as well as training in music, learning to play the piano, flute and piccolo
  • 1874 - 1876 : Studied cello in Baden-Baden, with Bernhard Cossmann, one of the great cellists of the nineteenth century
  • 1876 - 1880 : Toured in orchestras and as a soloist
  • 1879 - circa 1880 : Played in the orchestra of Baron Paul von Derwies, who also had an opera company
  • 1880 - 1881 : Played in Eduard Strauss' orchestra, in Vienna Performed as cello soloist
  • 1881: Returned to Stuttgart and lived with his mother Accepted a position in the court orchestra Entered Stuttgart conservatory, where he studied composition with composer, conductor, and violinist Max Seifriz
  • 1881, Oct. 25: First appearance (on short notice) as soloist with symphonic orchestra in Goltermann's Concerto in A minor
  • 1882, July 8 - 12 : Played in the orchestra of Tonkünstler-Versammlung des Allgemeinen Deutschen Musik-Verein in Zürich; performances by Liszt were for Herbert the highlights of the festival; the entire experience influenced Herbert greatly
  • 1883, Oct. 23: Soloist in first performance of his Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 3, with Stuttgart Orchestra; this is Herbert's earliest known work (earlier opus numbers have not been accounted for)
  • 1885 Fall: Joined the faculty of the Neue Stuttgarter Musikschule Retained position in court orchestra Met Therese Förster (1861-1927), a Viennese soprano in the court opera
  • 1885, Dec. 8: Soloist in first performance of his Cello Concerto No. 1, in D major, Op. 8
  • 1886, Aug. 14: Married Therese Förster in Vienna
  • 1886, Oct. 24: Arrived in New York City Therese Herbert-Förster hired as leading soprano at the Metropolitan Opera Herbert hired as cellist in orchestra
  • 1886, Nov. 8: Therese Herbert-Förster opened the Metropolitan Opera’s season in the title role of Carl Goldmark’s Die Königin von Saba
  • 1886, Nov. 12: Therese Herbert-Förster sang the title role in the first Met performance of Verdi’s Aïda (in German)
  • 1886 - 1887 : Therese Herbert-Förster made twelve appearances at the Met singing Wagnerian roles: Elsa in Lohengrin, Irene in Rienzi, and Elizabeth in Tannhäuser
  • 1887, Jan. 8: Herbert's first appearance in New York as cello soloist in three movements of his Suite, Op. 3, with the New York Symphony Society, Walter Damrosch, conducting
  • 1887, Dec. 8: First New York performance as a chamber musician, with the New York String Quartet; the quartet gave three concerts during the 1887-1888 season
  • 1887, Dec. 10: Soloist in his Cello Concerto No. 1 at Theodore Thomas’ matinee concert for young people; that evening, Herbert and Thomas played the concerto again, on short notice, with the New York Philharmonic Society
  • 1887: Formed Majestic Orchestre Internationale, 40-piece orchestra which played light music in New York and Boston
  • 1888 Feb.: Therese Herbert-Förster made a single (and final) appearance at the Met; her early departure remains unexplained, although she continued to sing successfully elsewhere for several years
  • 1889 Fall: Herbert joined faculty of National Conservatory of Music, New York
  • 1889 - 1891 : Served as associate conductor of Worcester (County Music) Festival
  • 1891, Sept. 24: First performance of his dramatic cantata The Captive, Op. 5, at the Worcester Festival
  • 1893: Became leader of 22nd Regiment Band of the New York National Guard (also known as the “Gilmore Band”), following Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore and then D. W. Reeves as conductor
  • 1893 - 1900 : Toured with the 22nd Regiment Band of the New York National Guard
  • 1894, Mar. 9 - 10 : Soloist in first performances of his Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 30, with New York Philharmonic Society, Anton Seidl, conducting
  • 1894, Nov. 20: First performance of Prince Ananias, at the Broadway Theatre in New York (the first of Herbert’s 45 operettas and operas)
  • 1895, Sept. 26: First performance of The Wizard of the Nile, at the Grand Opera House in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • 1898 - 1904 : Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra where he presented some of his own works
  • 1901 - 1902 : Sued the Musical Courier for libel and won (relating to Marc A. Blumenberg's article of July 17, 1901 accusing Herbert of plagiarism and disparaging his skill as a conductor)
  • 1902, June 16: First performance by the Victor Herbert Orchestra, at Willow Grove Park
  • 1902, Oct. 14: Became a United States citizen
  • 1903, Jan. 2: First performance of his orchestral suite, Columbus, Op. 35 (Herbert’s last symphonic work)
  • 1903, Oct. 13: First performance of Babes in Toyland, at the Majestic Theatre in New York
  • 1904, Oct. 7: First performance of Mlle. Modiste, at the Taylor Opera House in Trenton, New Jersey
  • 1904: Organized the Victor Herbert Orchestra in New York, specializing in well-played light music
  • 1906: Testified on behalf of composers during the first Congressional hearings on the copyright revision bill of 1906
  • 1907, May 3: Herbert’s orchestra performed his composition, The Friars, for a banquet held by The Friars’ Club (it became the official “hymn” of the Monastery, the Friars’ clubhouse)
  • 1907 - 1908 : Testified on behalf of composers during Congressional hearings on the copyright revision bill of 1906
  • 1909: Victor Herbert Orchestra contracted to record exclusively for the National Phonograph Company Victor Herbert Orchestra released their first recording (selections from Mlle. Modiste) in July Herbert advised on artistic and technical matters for the National Phonograph Company Copyright revision bill passed
  • 1910, Oct. 24: First performance of Naughty Marietta, at the Wieting Opera House in Syracuse, N.Y.
  • 1911, Feb. 25: First performance of the opera Natoma, by the Philadelphia-Chicago Opera Co., starring Mary Garden and John McCormack
  • 1911, Sept. 14: First performance of When Sweet Sixteen, in New York
  • 1911, Oct. 9: First performance of The Enchantress, at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.
  • 1911, Oct. 16: First performance of The Duchess on Broadway, the second of three Herbert operettas to open on Broadway within thirty-five days
  • 1911, Oct. 19: First New York performance of The Enchantress
  • 1914, Jan. 24: First performance of his opera Madeleine, by the Metropolitan Opera, starring Frances Alda and Paul Althouse
  • 1914: Herbert was one of nine founders of ASCAP; he served as vice president until his death
  • 1916, June 6: Silent film The Fall of a Nation first shown in New York (Herbert’s score is possibly the earliest through-composed score to accompany a feature film)
  • 1920, Feb. 20: First performance of My Golden Girl, at the Nora Bayes Theatre
  • 1921, July - 1921 Aug. : Conducted symphony concerts at the Lewisohn Stadium in New York for three weeks
  • 1922, Sept. 22: First performance of Orange Blossoms, in Philadelphia at the Garrick Theatre
  • 1923, May 1: Conductor at the Cosmopolitan Theatre
  • 1924, Feb. 12: First performance of Suite of Serenades, conducted by Paul Whiteman, at New York’s Aeolian Hall, on the same program with the first performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue
  • 1924, Apr. 22: First performance of The Dream Girl, Herbert’s last operetta, at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut (first New York performance on August 20 at the Ambassador Theatre)
  • 1924, May 26: Died in New York of cardiac arrest

From the guide to the Victor Herbert Collection, 1880-1939, (bulk 1894-1924), (Music Division Library of Congress)

Victor Herbert, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1859, was the dominant composer for the Broadway musical stage from the late 1800s to the 1920s. His major works include The Serenade (1897), The Fortune Teller (1898), Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910), Sweethearts (1913), and The Only Girl (1914). Mr. Herbert's most frequent lyric partner was Harry B. Smith.

A number of Victor Herbert musicals were adapted for film, including Babes in Toyland (1934 and 1961), Mlle. Modiste (retitled Kiss Me Again, 1931), Naughty Marietta (1935), and Sweethearts (1938). Mr. Herbert was also a cellist, a conductor and a leader in the formation of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). In 1939 a film, The Great Victor Herbert, was made about his life. Victor Herbert died in New York in 1924.

From the guide to the Victor Herbert papers, 1894-1973, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

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