Carl McKinley

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Carl K. McKinley (9 October 1895 in Yarmouth, Maine – 24 July 1966 in Centerville, Massachusetts) was an American composer of classical music. Born in Maine, he spent some time in Paris on a Guggenheim Fellowship. He studied music at Harvard University, and was granted a Naumberg Fellowship to study in New York City for the 1917-1918 school year. There he worked with Rubin Goldmark, Gaston Dethier, and Walter Henry Rothwell. He later played the organ in a church in Hartford, Connecticut, after which he spent four years playing the instrument in New York's Capitol Theatre. In 1929 he became a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.

McKinley wrote mainly for orchestra, and had pieces performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He also composed for organ, for chorus, and for piano, and wrote a handful of songs. He has been described as a "conservative modernist" who acknowledged that his own style borrows something from Richard Wagner.


  • Howard, John Tasker (1939). Our American Music: Three Hundred Years of It. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company.