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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

SHEPHERD, ARTHUR - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

SHEPHERD, ARTHUR (19 Feb. 1880-12 Jan. 1958), prominent in Cleveland's musical community nearly 30 years, was born to Mormon parents, William Nathaniel B. and Emily Mary (Phips) Shepherd, in Paris, Idaho. He graduated from New England Conservatory of Music by 1897, and returned to Salt Lake City to organize and conduct the Salt Lake City Symphony Orchestra. His composition, Overture Joyeuse, won the Paderewski Prize in 1902. Beginning in 1910, Shepherd taught at New England Conservatory and conducted at the St. Cecilia Society. In WORLD WAR I he went overseas as bandmaster of the 303d Field Artillery.

Called to Cleveland in 1920 by NIKOLAI SOKOLOFF†, Shepherd became assistant conductor and program annotator for the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, primarily responsible for the "pops" and children's concerts. Shepherd resigned in 1927 to become lecturer in music at Western Reserve University, remaining, however, as the orchestra's annotator until 1930. He was also music critic for the CLEVELAND PRESS from 1928-31. When music was raised to departmental status at WRU in 1928, Shepherd was appointed chairman, inaugurating a 20-year program of experimental opera.

Shepherd's music was traditional and strongly flavored with the folk idiom of his native West. Eight of his orchestral compositions, including his 2 symphonies, were programmed by the Cleveland Orchestra. His over 100 works included a violin concerto, 4 string quartets, 2 piano sonatas, and numerous songs and choral pieces. After retiring from teaching in 1950, he continued composing until his death in Cleveland.

Shepherd married Hattie Jennings on 5 Mar. 1913. They had four children: Wm. Jennings, Arthur Phipps, Richard Jennings, and Mary Anne. After divorcing Hattie, he married Grazella Puliver on 27 May 1922. They had one son, Peter. Shepherd died in Cleveland and was buried in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Koch, Frederick. Reflections on Composing (1983).

Marsh, Robert C. The Cleveland Orchestra (1967).

Last Modified: 22 Jul 1997 02:08:57 PM

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