There's More to the 'March King' than 'Stars and Stripes Forever'
John Philip Sousa's 'Nymphalin: Reverie' for violin and orchestra may delight and surprise
John Philip Sousa, the “March King” and famed leader of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, did not begin his musical life with aspirations to lead a marching band. Rather, this lover of Bach, gifted violinist, and composer intended to become the American version of Gilbert and Sullivan, composing operettas and leading theater orchestras. Indeed, the lessons of his compositional training and study of violin bore results throughout his career and Sousa became one of America’s best-loved and most influential musical forces. The recent inclusion in a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, of Sousa’s childhood violin has shed new light on his violin works, including Nymphalin: Reverie, written in 1880. Its salon-like themes show the influence of his work in theater.
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