Reginald de Koven

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Born: 3 April 1859, Middletown, Connecticut

Died: 16 December 1920


Henry Louis Reginald De Koven was an United States music critic and composer of operettas. He moved to Europe in 1870, where he received the majority of his education. He graduated from St John's College, Oxford University, England in 1879.

He undertook various musical studies at Stuttgart with Speidel and with Lebert and Pruckner. He studied composition at Franfort with Dr Hauff, and after staying there for six months moved on to Florence, Italy, where he studied singing with Vanuccini. Study in operatic composition followed, first with Richard Genée, in Vienna, and then with Léo Delibes, in Paris.

De Koven returned to the US in 1882 to live in Chicago, Illinois, and later lived in New York. Many of his songs became popular, especially "Oh, Promise Me", which was one of the biggest song successes of its time. His comic operas were popular, and as a composer of works of this description De Koven, like Victor Herbert, become famous throughout the country. His greatest successes include Robin Hood, produced in Chicago, 1890, and in London, 1891, Rob Roy, produced in Detroit, 1894, The Mandarin, produced in Cleveland, Ohio in 1896 and The Highwayman (1898). Harry B. Smith wrote many of the libretti for his operettas. His opera The Canterbury Pilgrims premièred at the Metropolitan Opera in 1917.

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List of choral works

Robin Hood - A Comic Opera (1890)

1. Overture from 'Robin Hood'
2. 'Tis the morning of the fair
8. When a peer makes love to a damsel fair
12. And it's will ye quaff with me (Song of Brown October Ale)
13. Oh, Promise Me
19. Let hammer on anvil ring
23. When life seems made of pains and pangs

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  • 1890 – Robin Hood, a comic opera
  • 1894 – Rob Roy
  • 1896 – The Mandarin
  • 1898 – The Highwayman

External links