Member's Choice: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Reputation: the Story of Henry K. Hadley and the ‘Boston School’
with Daniel Breen
In the second half of the nineteenth century, Boston was the center of orchestral musical composition in the United States; and no product of this “Boston School” was more celebrated and successful than Henry K. Hadley. The first native-born American to lead a major city orchestra, composer of five symphonies, five operas and a considerable array of songs, tone poems and chamber works, Hadley was recognized as one of the brightest musical lights in America by the time of his death in 1937. And yet today, he is virtually unknown outside of a slim circle of serious students of classical music. In this presentation, we will not only delve into the colorful story of Hadley’s rise to the highest ranks of American musical culture, but also pose some answers to the puzzling question of why his hard-earned fame would disappear so precipitously in the decades following his death.
Professor Daniel Breen is Senior Lecturer in Legal Studies at Brandeis University, a post he has held since 2015. In 2017, he was honored with the Louis D. Brandeis Award for Excellence in Teaching. He grew up in Atlanta, and received his law degree from the University of Georgia. In 2003, he received his doctorate in American history from Boston College. Currently, he is working with Oxford University on the "Quill Project," which is directed at digitally displaying the negotiations that produced the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.