5 symphonies, the tone poems Lucifer, Salome, The Ocean and many other works for orchestra, band; piano trio, string quartet, piano quintet; many songs; the operas Safie, opera in one act; libretto by E. Oxenford (1909, Mainz, Germany), Azora, Daughter of Montezuma, opera in 3 acts; libretto by D. Stevens (1917, Chicago Opera), Bianca, opera in one act; libretto by G. Stewart after Goldoni (1918, New York), Cleopatra’s Night, Opera in 2 Acts; Libretto by Alice Leal Pollock, after the story by Théophile Gautier (31 Jan. 1920, NY Met, Semper virens, music-drama; Libretto by J. Redding (1923, Sonoma County, CA) and A Night in Old Paris, Libretto by F. Truesdell, after G. McDonough (1924, New York)
Henry Kimball Hadley was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, on December 20, 1871. His father was a music teacher in the Somerville public schools, and Hadley received his first music lessons from him. Hadley also studied violin under Henry Heindl and Charles Allen, harmony under Stephen A. Emery, and counterpoint and composition with George W. Chadwick, whose influence on the young composer was considerable. By age twenty-one Hadley had composed a string quartet, and a dramatic overture for orchestra. In 1894, Hadley travelled to Vienna to study with Eusebius Mandyczewski, revered musicologist and editor of authoritative editions of the works of Schubert, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms and Caldera.
In 1900 Hadley made his debut as conductor. Still seeking to perfect his technique, Hadley returned to Europe in 1906 to study with Ludwig Thuille, who introduced Hadley to the new music of Reger, Mahler and Richard Strauss. He also guest-conducted orchestras in Berlin, Warsaw and at the Stadttheater in Mainz. In 1909 he was appointed conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. In 1911 he became the first conductor of the newly formed San Francisco Symphony. He left his post in San Francisco in 1915 to pursue composition full-time. although he continued for the rest of his life to guest conduct many of the greatest musical organizations, including the London Symphony and the Boston Symphony. From 1920 till 1927 he was associate-conductor of the New York Philharmonic Society, and in 1929 he formed the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra. With this latter organization Hadley introduced many compositions of American composers with great success, and his amazing promotion and support of American music and composers has been matched only by Serge Koussevitzky and Howard Hanson. Prevailing American prejudice against American musicians prevented him from being given the directorship of a major US orchestra, though he was considered for the directorship of Boston Symphony orchestra, brought on by the vacancy left by Karl Muck, who had been denounced by the State Department during World War I as "a dangerous enemy alien". Hadley’s compositions were performed by many of the great conductors of the day, such as Stokowski, Koussevitzky and Gustav Mahler, and by every major American Orchestra and many others in Europe and Japan. Hadley was appointed Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with them giving the premiere of his tone poem The Ocean on November 17, 1921. (The Ocean is recorded along with The Culprit Fay and the Symphony No.4 on Naxos American Classics 8.559064.)
Throughout his career Hadley’s compositions enjoyed tremendous popularity. The Ocean was widely played, particularly by the Chicago and Boston Symphony orchestras. His 3rd symphony premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic. When asked about American composers Richard Strauss said of Hadley "You have only one [composer]. Henry Hadley is the only man over there who knows the orchestra". The Symphony No.4 "North, East South and West" was written in Seattle and premiered there, later being taken up by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony orchestra. For his championing of Hadley’s music, Hadley dedicated the Othello Overture to Leopold Stokowski, who premiered it on December 26, 1919 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Culprit Fay won the National Federation of Music Clubs prize of $1000 in 1909, winning over 24 other entries. The judges were Charles Loeffler, Walter Damrosch and Henry E. Krehbiel. Its premiere in Grand Rapids received a raucous reception, the audience standing on its chairs and calling for the orchestra to repeat the work. The Culprit Fay was played all over the United States and Europe, always meeting with great success. The oratorio Resurgam (1921-22) was premiered in 1923 at the Cincinnati May Festival, in which performance 1000 children and 300 adults participated. This performance was a great success, and Resurgam was later done in London. His greatest choral work, and one of Hadley