Edward Joseph Collins

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For other people named Edward Collins, see Edward Collins (disambiguation).

Edward Joseph Collins (November 10, 1886 – December 1, 1951) was an American pianist, conductor and composer of romantic classical music.

Life and career[edit]

Collins was born in Joliet, Illinois. He studied with Rudolf Ganz in Chicago and in 1906 went with Ganz to Berlin, where he studied performance and composition at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik under Max Bruch and Engelbert Humperdinck. Upon graduation, he had a successful concert piano debut in Berlin. He returned to the United States in 1912 and toured with the contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink. He was an assistant conductor with the Century Opera Company in New York City and with the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. During World War I, Collins served in the U.S. Army as an interpreter and entertained the troops as pianist. After the war he returned to Chicago, and joined the faculty of Chicago Musical College. He later joined the faculty of the American Conservatory of Music.[1]


While at Chicago Music College, Collins met and married, on July 21, 1920,[2] a voice student, Frieda Johanna Mayer (1889–1965),[3] daughter of meat-packing magnate Oscar Mayer.


Ten major orchestral works

  • a symphony
  • two overtures
  • three suites
  • three piano concertos
  • Hymn to the Earth (for orchestra, choir, and solo voices)

Several chamber works

  • 15 songs for voice and piano


  • Who Can Tell


  • Daughter of the South

More than a dozen piano solo and duo scores

Selected discography[edit]

Mayne Miller, piano (1st work); Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra (1st work); Thor Johnson, conductor (1st work); Gunnar Johansen, piano (2d-7th works)
  1. Concert piece for piano and orchestra in a minor
  2. Cowboy's breakdown
  3. Tango (In form of a rondo)
  4. Válses characteristiques, op. 18


  1. ^ Edward Joseph Collins Papers, Newberry Modern Manuscript Collections, Newberry Library, Chicago
  2. ^ Edward J Collins & Frieda J Mayer, Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1924, July 21, 1920
  3. ^ "Death Notices: Frieda Mayer Collins", Chicago Tribune, December 8, 1965

External links[edit]