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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.

Charles Griffes [graphic] / by Mishkin Studio.
[Between 1910 and 1920]
1 silver gelatin print : b&w ; 15 x 10 cm.,
mounted on board 26 x 18 cm.
Image ID: WWM9938/G99F818/MGZEA05

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