Burnet Tuthill


Son of the man who was the architect of Carnegie Hall in New York City, Burnet Corwin Tuthill was born in New York on November 16, 1888. He graduated from Columbia University in 1909 and began a career in business. During this period, he led the Columbia University Orchestra and the People’s Choral Union, was librarian for the New York Oratorio Society, and played in the Young Men’s Symphony. Between 1922-1930, he was business manager of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and attended the Cincinnati College of Music, where he received a Master of Music degree in 1935. In 1919, Tuthill founded the Society for the Publication of American Music, which specialized in the printing of chamber music. He was later director of music at Southwestern College (Memphis, Tennessee), and then director of music at the Memphis College of Music. He was also instrumental in the organization of the National Association of Schools of Music in 1924 and was secretary of that organization from 1924-1959. In 1938, he organized and became the first conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Tuthill did not begin to compose until he was 39 years of age, writing an intermezzo for two clarinets in 1927. His first band work was the march, Dr. Joe. He was the composer of many sacred choral pieces. He died in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 18, 1982.


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