Charles Griffes was typical of a new kind of American composer
who would flourish in the twentieth century. Born in Elmira in 1884,
at 19 he went to Germany to study music for four years. On his return
he took a job at the Hackley School, a boys' preparatory school
in Tarrytown NY where he worked and lived the rest of his life.
His early works were strongly influenced by the European tradition,
but soon he developed a distinctive voice working in the impressionist
style. Tragically, he died of a respiratory ailment at 35, just
as his music was achieving critical renown and an international
reputation. His best known work is the Poem for Flute and Orchestra
which he also arranged for flute and piano.