Correspondence with Albert Elkus, Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley,
probably dating from 1922 to 1927. Each letter is accompanied by a typed transcription
made by Elkus' secretary, Helen Farnsworth, when he served as Chairman of the Dept.
Foote, Arthur (William) (b Salem, MA, 5 March 1853; d Boston, MA, 8 April 1937).
Composer, organist, pianist, piano teacher, and theorist. The youngest of three children,
Foote was reared by his sister, Mary White Foote, following the death of his mother in
1857; his brother, Henry Wilder Foote, was a distinguished clergyman and minister of
King's Chapel, Boston. Arthur Foote began his study of music at the age of 12 with Fanny
Paine, a local piano teacher. After two years she took him to play for her teacher, the
Boston musician B. J. Lang, on whose advice he enrolled in Stephen A. Emery's harmony
class at the New England Conservatory. In 1870 he entered Harvard College, where he
studied counterpoint and fugue with John Knowles Paine; he also led the Harvard Glee Club
in the two years before his graduation in 1874. That summer, with no thought of becoming
a professional musician, he began organ lessons with Lang, who was so encouraging that
Foote decided on a career in music rather than proceeding with his plan to enter law
school. He returned to Harvard for another year's work with Paine and took piano lessons
with Lang. In 1875 he received the first MA in music to be given by an American
university. He was influenced by the German born or trained musicians active in Boston
during the early part of his professional life, and made eight trips abroad over a
20-year period. He attended the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876, which afforded him the
opportunity to hear and meet the leading European artists of the day; he also took a few
lessons with Stephen Heller in France in 1883.