Classical composer, ﬂautist, and symphony conductor.
Born October 10, 1897, in Raleigh, North Carolina, into a musical family, Lamar Edwin Stringﬁeld attended Mars Hill and Wake Forest Colleges. He served in the 105th Engineers regimental band in France during World War I under Joseph DeNardo, a music teacher from Asheville. After dis- charge, he remained in Paris to study composition with Nadia Boulanger. When he returned to the United States, Stringﬁeld entered New York’s Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School), studying ﬂute, conducting, composition, and music theory. He graduated in 1924 with an artist’s diploma in ﬂute performance.
A proliﬁc composer of solo as well as large orchestral compositions, Stringﬁeld based much of his music on folk tunes, especially those from Appalachia. He received a Joseph Pulitzer Scholarship Prize for his symphonic suite From the Southern Mountains (1928). With Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Stringﬁeld published a book of arrangements of Appalachian folk songs (1929). Interested in Appalachian, African American, and Native American music, he organized the Institute of Folk Music at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1930. Stringﬁeld collaborated with playwright Paul Green on the music for at least ﬁve dramas, including The Lost Colony, typically using Elizabethan English and American folk tunes.
Founder and conductor of two orchestras, the Asheville Symphony (founded in 1927) and the North Carolina Symphony (1932), Stringﬁeld also conducted the Charlotte and Knoxville Symphonies in the 1940s. Considered one of the ﬁnest ﬂautists in the United States, Stringﬁeld was a ﬂute builder, as well as a composer for the instrument. He died January 21, 1959, in Asheville.
Cite this Entry
"Lamar Stringfield," Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2016, Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 26 May 2016 <http://www.www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=201>
"Lamar Stringfield." (2016) In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Retrieved May 26, 2016, from Encyclopedia of Appalachia: http://www.www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=201