Henry Stephen Cutler studied organ under A. U. Hayter, organist of Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1844, he went to Europe to continue his studies in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. While abroad, he visited many English cathedrals and became familiar with their style of music. In 1852, he became organist at the Church of the Advent, Boston, and, in 1858, organist and choirmaster at Trinity Church,New York City. He also played at churches in Brooklyn, New York;Providence, Rhode Island; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Troy, New York; and Newark, New Jersey.