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Edward Ballantine Edit Profile

composer , teacher

Edward Ballantine, American composer, teacher. famous composers, 1st series, 1924, 2d series, 1943.


Edward Ballantine was born in Oberlin, Ohio, on August 6, 1886, the son of William Gay Ballantine, the fourth president of Oberlin College, and Emma Frances Atwood.


Graduated from the high school, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1903. Harvard, 1903-1907 (highest honors in music). Studied piano with Mary Regal, Springfield, Edward Noyes and Helen Hopekirk, Boston.

Studied music, Berlin, 1907-1909, composition with Rufer, piano with Schnabel and Ganz. Doctor of Music, Marietta College, 1940. Honorary Master of Arts, Harvard University, 1942.


Another brother Henry Winthrop was Professor of Law, at Boalt Hall School of Law. He was awarded highest final honors in music at Harvard University and an orchestral composition of his was played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Boston, Massachusetts on June 14, 1907. He then pursued his studies with Artur Schnabel, Rudolf Ganz, and Philippe Rüferthen in Berlin from 1907 to 1909.

He returned to the United States where he joined the Harvard music faculty in 1912, where he remained until his retirement in 1947. His best-known compositions are two sets of piano variations on "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (1924, 1943), in which each variation is in the style of a different composer (Hitchcock and Meckna 2001). He died on July 2, 1971 at his home at Vineyard Haven, a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States.


  • Famous composers, 1st series, 1924, 2d series, 1943.


One brother Arthur Atwood was the senior member of the New York law firm of Root, Clark, Buckner & Ballantine—later Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood.


Married Edith Perry, April 15, 1916 (divorced 1929). Married second, Florence Besse Brewster, June 25, 1932.

William Gay Ballantine

Emma Frances (Atwood) Ballantine

Edith Perry

Florence Besse Brewster