Lamar Stringfield (1897–1959)

Updated: March 01, 2011

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.

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MLA Style

"Lamar Stringfield," Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2018, Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 17 Oct 2018 <>

APA Style

"Lamar Stringfield." (2018) In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Retrieved October 17, 2018, from Encyclopedia of Appalachia:

Lamar Stringfield