Strickland, WilliamAlternative names
Epithet: of Add MS 36057
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000571.0x00009c
Title: 1st Baronet
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000613.0x000122
Epithet: of Add MS 4743
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000571.0x00009d
Epithet: Secretary-at- War
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000571.0x0000a6
William Remsen Strickland was born in Defiance, Ohio, in 1914. After beginning his musical career as an organist, he shifted his focus to conducting. He served in the U.S. Army from 1941-1946, attending the Army music school and subsequently founding the Army Music School Choir, whose performances featured compositions by musicians serving in the armed forces, including Cecil Effinger, Homer Keller, and Kent Kennan. Upon exiting the Army in 1946, Strickland co-founded the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, which he led until 1951. He also conducted several concerts and recordings of modern music at Dumbarton Oaks, including the first recording of his friend Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Eleanor Steber.
In 1952 and 1953, Strickland traveled to Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship to begin his life-long campaign of championing the works of American composers abroad. For nearly three years, Strickland led the Vienna Symphony in performances of works by Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, Mary Howe, Edward MacDowell, Robert Ward, and others. From 1955 to 1959, Strickland was the musical director of the New York Oratorio Society, which he led in performances of Stravinsky, Honegger, Barber, and Cowell, in addition to the group's annual Christmas concerts of Handel's Messiah. Under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, he continued his efforts to promote American music, traveling to Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Vietnam in 1958 and 1959. In addition to working with local orchestras to perform concerts, Strickland made numerous recordings of contemporary compositions for the record label Composers Recordings, Inc. (CRI).
Strickland returned to Europe in 1963, conducting performances and recordings in Finland, Poland, and Sweden, as well as directing the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from 1962-63. In the late 1960s, he established a residence in Portugal and turned his attention to his study of the music of Charles Ives, whom he had long considered the quintessential American composer. A planned book on Ives never came to fruition, and Strickland instead focused on creating electronic realizations of several Ives compositions, which he felt were impossible to perform as the composer intended. After retiring to Connecticut, Strickland continued his experiments with electronic music, recording in 1979 An Electronic Visit to the Zoo and Sound Hypnosis . He died in 1991.
From the guide to the William Remsen Strickland Collection, 1926-1991, (bulk 1946-1970), (Music Division Library of Congress)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire|
|North Erpingham, Hundred of, Norfolk|
|Conductors (Music)--United States--Correspondence|