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John Woods Duke (1899-1984)

John Duke is an American composer and pianist born in Cumberland, Maryland. He became
arguably best known for his art songs (Approximately 260 art songs).
Duke was the oldest child in a large musical family. Duke started learning piano at the age of 11.
His mother (a talented singer herself) enrolled him in the Cumberland, MD Allegheny Academy.
By age 16 he had won a three-year scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Duke studied composition and theory under Gustav Strube and piano with Harold Randolph
(whose own tutors had included Hans von Bulow, Clara Schumann, and Franz Liszt). He
graduated in 1918, and, in the midst of wartime, volunteered his services to the Student Army
Training Corps at Columbia University.
He debuted as a concert pianist in Aeolian Hall and wrote his first art song. Within a few years he
began playing as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. He married Dorothy Macon, who
would bear him two children and collaborate with him as a librettist on several art songs.
In 1923, Duke accepted a position on the music faculty at Smith College in Northampton, MA.
He remained at the institution until 1967 when he received the Peabody Alumni Association
Award for Distinguished Service in the field of music following his retirement. His prodigious
output of art songs continued, including such well-known pieces as "I've Dreamed of Sunsets"
and "Lullabye". Pursuing compositional studies, Duke took a year's sabbatical in 1929 to work
with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Artur Schnabel in Berlin. Returning to the United States, he
spent a summer at the Yaddo artists' colony in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Although Duke's work covered a wide range of styles, most of his work showed the particular
influence of 19th-century German Lieder. Though he is well trained in piano, John Duke wrote
almost all of his compositions for voice. When asked why, the composer replied, "I think it is
because of my belief that vocal utterance is the basis of music's mystery."

Luke Havergal by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Robinson was born in Head Tide, Maine in 1869 and died in 1935
He had a very depressing childhood. His parents really wanted a girl for a baby and they were
extremely disappointed when they ended up with him. His parents did not even give him a name
until he was six months old, they chose the name by drawing it out of a hat.
Edwins early struggles led him to write very pessimistic and depressing poems
His father died while he was attending Harvard and after his death Edwin moved back home to
become the man of the household.
He fell in love with his brothers wife and after his brother died he tried to marry her. She rejected
him twice.