Margaret Ruthven Lang 1867-1972

margaret-ruthven-langMargaret Ruthven Lang, daughter of B. J. Lang of Boston, was born in Boston, November 27, 1867.

She began the study of pianoforte under one of her father’s pupils, and later continued it under his direction. Some time after this she began the study of the violin with Louis Schmidt of Boston, and continued under Drechler and Abel in Munich during the winters of 1886-87. While in Munich she also studied composition with Gluth.

On returning to Boston in 1887 she took up the study of orchestration with G. W. Chadwick, from which time she wrote a large number of compositions, many of which have had great success. Her Dramatic Overture, Op. 12, No. 4, was performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Mikisch on April 8, 1893; her overture Witichis No. 1, Op. 10, was performed in Chicago under Theodore Thomas, by an orchestra of one hundred, at two concerts in July and August, 1893, and at a third concert in August under Bendix.

Of other works for orchestra composed later are two arias, one for alto, Phoebus’s Denunciation of the Furies at his Delphian Shrine. She has also created in manuscript several unfinished pieces, part-songs, a cantata for chorus, solos, orchestra, and a string quartet.

Among her published compositions are thirty-five songs, two works of considerable size for male voices, entitled The Jumblies and a Boatman’s Hymn, which were sung by the Apollo Club of Boston; Love Plumes his Wings, for female chorus, which was sung by the Cecilia Society of Boston and elsewhere; and several part-songs.

Among the most notable of her published songs might well be mentioned:

  • King Olaf’s Lillies, Op. 15
  • Spinning Song
  • Heliotrope
  • Betrayed
  • Eros
  • Three songs of the East Op. 8
  • Three songs for low voice Op. 6
  • Three songs of the Night Op. 7
  • My Lady Jacqueminot

Among her greatest successes is a suite for the pianoforte, entitled Petit Roman.