Eleanor Everest Freer
1864 - 1942
Eleanor Everest Freer was born in Philadelphia. She received her entire musical education from her parents until the age of eighteen, when she was sent to Paris to study voice with Charles Widor (1844-1937) and Jules Massenet (1842-1916), among others. After her return to the United States, she composed solo piano works, choral pieces, and numerous songs. She established herself as a private voice teacher in Philadelphia, and was invited to teach at the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City, where she remained on faculty from 1889-91. By 1921, she had written sixty-nine songs, fourteen piano solos, eleven vocal ensembles, and four song cycles. The largest work written during this period was a setting of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Forty-four Sonnets from the Portugese, with a singable French translation. By the end of her life her total oeuvre included eleven chamber operas, 158 songs including those in five song cycles, nineteen piano solos, one duo-piano piece, and thirteen vocal ensembles. Freer's earliest compositions, songs from her nine Lyric Studies, are found in HPC #491-00538.