George Templeton Strong (composer)

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George Templeton Strong (May 26, 1856 – June 27, 1948) was an American composer of classical music and a professional painter. His work has been described as Romantic. He moved to Vevey, Switzerland, in 1897 and lived there and in Geneva for the remainder of his life. Although his career was in Europe, he is considered an American composer.

Early life and education[edit]

George Templeton Strong was born in New York City to Ellen (Ruggles) and George Templeton Strong, an attorney. The family was musical; both parents were amateur musicians and his father was on the board of the New York Philharmonic Society.[1] His father was active in the community and helped found the United States Sanitary Commission during the American Civil War. Since the 1930s, the senior Strong has been notable for the literary quality of his voluminous diary, which he kept most of his life. With early musical promise, the son was given lessons and training. While the senior Strong hoped his son would follow him in the law, they became reconciled before the father's death.[1] Strong went to Europe for study at the Leipzig Conservatory.


Strong was a pupil of Salomon Jadassohn and Richard Hofmann at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany, together with many European musicians who became prominent in the next decades.[1]

After he returned to the United States, George Templeton Strong began his composing career. In 1897 he moved to Vevey, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva. He taught for a few years at the New England Conservatory of Music, by invitation of Edward MacDowell, but returned to Switzerland because of ill health. For the next several years he studied watercolor painting seriously and worked as professional artist. About 1912, he moved to Geneva, where he began to compose music again. He lived in Geneva for the rest of his life and painted seriously for 30 years.[1]

His compositions include (a selected list):[2]

  • Undine, opus 14, symphonic poem
  • Three Symphonic Idylls for two pianos, opus 29
  • The Haunted Mill, cantata
  • Symphony No. 2 "Sintram" in G minor, opus 50. Dedicated to composer Edward MacDowell. (premiered 1893)[1]
  • La nuit, Four brief symphonic poems
  • Legende, Quartett fur vier Horner in F (1915)
  • Le roi Arthur, symphonic poem (1916)
  • An der See, symphonic poem (lost)
  • Elegy for cello and orchestra
  • The Life of an Artist for violin and orchestra, dedicated to Joseph Szigeti
  • Hallali for solo horn and orchestra (1923)
  • Suite for cello and orchestra (1923)
  • Chorale on a theme of Hans Leo Hassler (1929)
  • Six pieces for cello and orchestra (1931)
  • String Quartet (1935)

In 1948 Strong died in Geneva, where he had lived for more than 30 years.

In 2002, three of his orchestral pieces were recorded for the first time and released as two CDs by Naxos: Symphony No. 2 in G minor, opus 50; and La nuit and Le roi Arthur.


  1. ^ a b c d e Victor and Marina Ledin, "Bio and Description of Strong 2nd Symphony", Naxos, April 1999, accessd15 March 2009
  2. ^ Source: French-language Wikipedia article, 15 March 2009

External links[edit]