Adolf Martin Foerster was a composer, music teacher and music historian. Foerster was born and resided most of his life in Pittsburgh. He studied at the Royal Conservatory at Leipzig, and his compositions belonged to the "Old German School." They were well received in his day by major orchestras of America and abroad. He taught at the Pittsburgh Female College and privately. As a music historian (especially about Pittsburgh), his articles were featured in The Musical Forecast and other national music periodicals. In 1879 he succeeded Carl Retter as conductor of the Symphonic Society and in 1882 was elected conductor of the Musical Union.