MACDOWELL, EDWARD. (1860-1908). American composer, pianist and teacher. DS. (“E.A. MacDowell”). 1p. Oblong 8vo. New York City, October 2, 1899. A partially-printed document signed by MacDowell acknowledging that ANGELA DILLER (1877-1968) is qualified to attend “Course 1.5” in Columbia University’s Department of Music. On Columbia University stationery.
After studying in Germany and earning Franz Liszt’s recognition, MacDowell returned to the United States to make name for himself as a pianist and composer. In May 1896, MacDowell became Columbia University’s first professor of music. In addition to teaching, he continued to conduct, perform and compose, producing some of his finest piano works, including Sea Pieces (Op. 55), the Third (“Norse”) Sonata (Op. 57) and Fireside Tales (Op. 61). MacDowell resigned from Columbia in 1904 after conflicts with university president Nicholas Murray Butler regarding the establishment of a fine arts program at the university. MacDowell’s health rapidly declined into complete dementia, possibly due to the chronic use of bromide sedatives; he died at the age of 48.