William Henry Fry

William Henry Fry Music Recordings and Sheet Music

  • Born
    19th August 1813
  • Died
    21st December 1864
  • Birthplace
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

William Henry Fry was a pioneering American composer, music critic, and journalist. Fry was the first person born in the United States to write for a large symphony orchestra, and the first to compose a publicly performed opera. He was also the first music critic for a major American newspaper, and he was the first person to insist that his fellow countrymen support American-made music. Fry's operatic compositions include Aurelia the Vestal, Leonora (based on the 1838 play The Lady of Lyons), and Notre-Dame of Paris (based on the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo). Leonora was a very successful production at its premiere in 1845 and second run the following year. Leonora is also significant as it was the first grand opera written by an American composer.

Title Form Instrument Ratings
Leonora Opera / Operetta Voice(s) and Orchestra
Stabat Mater Sacred Mass Choir and Orchestra