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Preston Ware Orem (Composer, Arranger)

Born: 1865 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: May 26, 1938 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

The American author, pianist and composer, Preston Ware Orem, was educated at the Eastburn Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the degree of Mus. D. He studied organ and theory with Hugh Archibald Clarke (1839-1927) and piano with Charles H. Jarvis (1837-1895).

During the years from 1889 to 1895 Preston Ware Orem was organist at St. Paul's Procathedral in Los Angeles after which he returned to his home town to teach for one year at the Philadelphia Conservatory and from 1896 to 1905 he was a faculty member of the Combs Conservatory. From 1900 he began his association wit the Theodore Presser Company as critic and editor at the same time conducting the Presser Choral Society and from 1901 to 1910 he worked as organist again but now at the Walnut Street Presbytarian Church.

Preston Ware Orem is remembered today for his Harmony Book for Beginners (1919) and 9 musical exercise books. He belonged to the group of composers known as the American Indianists. Among his concert pieces the American Indian Rhapsody is the most remarkable - and most far-out Indian with pyrotechnical trills, arpeggios, broken chords, and repeated thunderous - even savage octaves - enough to make Hollywood envious. The Rhapsody has references to Cheyenne, Kiowa, Sioux, Chippewa, Pueblo and Cree tribal chants. He also orchestrated the Rhapsody. His interest in American Indian music was fairly casual and superficial but the Indian idea attracted him for its colour. Besides it was in fashion then and he even leaned on - not to say manipulated original Indian themes - recorded and suggested by Thurlow Lieurance (1878-1963), a composer who spent many years collecting Indian melodies. Besides this he published a Romance for violin and orchestra and a ballet suite but among his other works are a piano quartet, a quintet, many songs, piano pieces, transcriptions and arrangements.


Source: Naxos Website; NY Side Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

Bach-P.W. Orem: Preston Ware Orem | Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Preston Ware Orem Biography (Naxos)

Ny side 1



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