November 23, 2007
Victor August Herbert was born in Dublin, Ireland, February 1st 1859, and was a grandson of Samuel Lover, the famous Irish novelist. At seven he was sent to Germany to begin his musical education. His first position of prominence was that of principal violoncello-player in the Court Orchestra at Stuttgart, and he was heard in many important concerts throughout Europe before accepting in 1886 an engagement as solo cellist in the Metropolitan Orchestra in New York. Here he was prominently connected with the best orchestral organizations, and was soloist and conductor, becoming favorably known in the principal cities of the United States. For a number of years he was 1st cello in the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, and later in Anton Seidl’s orchestra, where he was also associate-conductor. In 1894 he was appointed bandmaster of the famous 22nd Regiment band, succeeding P. S. Gilmore; he was chosen conductor of the Pittsburgh, Pa., Orchestra (with 70 performers) in 1898. As a composer he has written several works for orchestra: a cello-concerto, and songs, also an oratorio, The Captive written for and performed at the Worcester Mass. Festival, and the comic operas Prince Ananias, The Wizard of the Nile, The Serenade, The Idol’s Eye and The Fortune-teller, all performed with success. He died May 26, 1924.