Arthur Foote was born March 5, 1853, in Salem.
As a boy he studied music and at the age of 15 joined the harmony class under Stephen A. Emery at the New England Conservatory of Music, continuing these studies during his preparation for college.
He entered Harvard in 1879, and graduated in 1874. While in college he took the courses of Professor John K. Paine, and immediately on his graduation began lessons on the pianoforte and organ with B. J. Lang, and in counterpoint, canon, free composition, and fugue with Professor Paine, receiving the degree of A.M. in music in 1875.
His first publicly performed composition was a trio for the pianoforte, violin, and violoncello in C minor, Op. 5, which he brought out in 1882. This composition has been on many concert programs in America, and was played in 1887 at the Saturday Popular Concerts in London.
During the season of 1890 his sonata in G minor for piano and violin was played at the Kneisel Concerts in Boston, and in February, 1891, the same organization brought out his quartet for pianoforte and strings in C major, Op. 23.
A suit in F major for strings, Op. 12, was his first orchestral work, and was first played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at a Young People’s Popular concert, in May, 1886; afterwards in Chicago, New York, London, and at the World’s Fair Concerts in 1893.
In 187 his overture for orchestra, In the Mountains, was given at one of the Boston Symphony Concerts, under Gericke. This same overture was also produced at the Concert of American Music at the Paris Exhibition in 1889, at Aren’s Concerts of American Compositions at Berlin and other places in Germany in 1891, besides, perhaps, at a dozen or so concerts in America.
In 1889 a second suite for strings was also performed by the Boston Orchestra, and also, in 1891, Francesca da Rimini, a symphonic prologue.
His other larger compositions are:
- Pierrot I Op. 34 No. 1
- Pierrete II Op. 34 No. 2
- Concerto for violoncello and orchestra in G minor, Op. 33
- Two string quarters, in G minor, Op. 4
- In E major Op. 32
- Suite in D minor, Op. 15
- Suite in C minor, Op. 30
- The Farewell of Hiawatha
- The Wreck of the Hesperus
- The Skeleton in Armor
- Two ballads
In addition to these are a number of piano compositions, about thirty songs, and compositions for church uses.
Arthur Foote died April 8, 1937, in Boston, Massachusetts.