An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville Erwin, 1930-1931

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An American Organist in Paris presents Lee Orville Erwin's letters from France to his family in 1930-1931. In these letters, Erwin recounts his daily experiences and encounters with some of the 20th century's greatest musicians and teachers. He writes of his lessons with Andre Marchal, Jean Verd, and Nadia Boulanger and dinner parties with Olivier Messiaen. Erwin's letters not only provide the singular experiences of a young musician but also reflect the common experiences shared by the multitude of American composers who studied in France during this time. These letters are extensively footnoted to provide clarity and background information of the locations and personalities discussed. A biographical chapter on Erwin, which outlines his extensive musical career and impact on the silent film music revival in the 20th century is also included. This book will serve as a unique glimpse into the life of one of America's most prolific composers for the theater organ.