January 1, 1878 - February 21, 1956
born in Louisville, KY, composed during the Modern period
The great American bandmaster of the first half of the twentieth century (at least, the one not named Sousa), Edwin Franko Goldman developed one of the nation's most proficient concert bands and composed more than 100 marches, including the popular "On the Mall."
Goldman entered New York's National Conservatory at age eight; while there, he studied composition with Dvorák, but focused mainly on the cornet. From 1899 to 1909 he played cornet in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, thus establishing his musical credentials in what was regarded as a more "legitimate" venue than the parade ground or band shell. In 1911 he formed his own band, which played sporadically for the first few years. In 1918 it began performing under Goldman's own name, which it did continuously until 1979 (in later decades under the direction of the founder's son, Richard Franko Goldman). With its longevity and devotion to the full American musical heritage, the Goldman band figured prominently in celebrations of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.
Goldman was a prolific march composer--his most familiar pieces being "On the Mall" and the "Kentucky March"--but he also had a taste for more substantial fare, and a streak of scholarship. He brought to light a great deal of forgotten American wind music from well before his own time, and as late as 1947 he gave the U.S. premiere of Berlioz's Symphonie funèbre et triomphale.
Goldman founded the American Bandmasters Association and was a noted teacher; his pedagogical publications include Foundation to Cornet or Trumpet Playing (1914), Band Betterment (1934), and The Goldman Band System (1935). ~ James Reel, Rovi