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Silas Gamaliel Pratt

Admired by Wagner

Born August 4, 1846, Addison, Vermont
Died October 30, 1916, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
About Silas G. Pratt

A pianist and composer, Pratt is said to have been called "the Richard Wagner of the United States" by Wagner himself, to which Pratt replied by calling Wagner the "Silas Pratt of Germany." Today, while Wagner is remembered, Pratt, one of the earliest American opera composers, is all but forgotten. In addition to his compositions, he was the author of a once-popular book of anecdotes about Abraham Lincoln.

Pratt composed one additional work, entitled The Triumph of Columbus, which was first performed in New York in 1892. My sources have not been able to confirm whether this was an opera or a cantata or other nondramatic work.

  • Antonio (composed 1871 (; selections performed in Farwell Hall, Chicago))
  • Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, opera in four acts
    Libretto by the composer.
    June 15, 1882, Central Music Hall, Chicago ((concert performance)); March 26, 1883, McVickers Theater, Chicago ((first staged version))
  • Lucille (March 14, 1887, Columbia Theater, Chicago) [rev. of Antonio]
  • Ollanta
    Libretto by the composer.

Discography Search for recordings of the music of Silas G. Pratt at Amazon.com

No recordings of the operas of Silas G. Pratt are currently in our discography database. Click here to search for recordings by this composer at Amazon.com
Bibliography Search for books by and about Silas G. Pratt at Amazon.com

Silas Gamaliel Pratt

Lincoln In Story: The Life Of The Martyr-President Told In Authenticated Anecdotes


Last update: January 1, 2009