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Balfour, Carlton (1885-1945)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1885 - 1945

Biography

Carlton Balfour was born in Nickerson, Kansas (ca.1885). At the age of 3 Balfour lost his eyesight in a horrible accident. His inability to see the light of day did not hinder Balfour from gaining an education. He was educated at the Colorado State Institution for the Blind in Colorado Springs. He lived in Colorado for an extensive period, but he relocated to Kansas City, MO in 1905.

As a young man Carlton Balfour dreamed of becoming a church organist, which drove him to study vigorously in order realize his dream. In hope of reaching his goal Carlton Balfour’s approach to learning took on a very different avenue. He learned how to read music for the blind, but the music that was available to him was very limited. Therefore, he solicited the aid of a woman in order to reach his goal by having her recite the notes from various compositions. He in turn learned to memorize the notes that were being recited to him and began practicing on the piano. In the early 1900’s, Balfour turned to Herr Bohrer, who was a musical instructor, for further instruction in harmony, counterpoint, and composition.

Carlton Balfour’s first publication was Bouncing Betty, but it was not the only work he had composed during his lifetime. He composed My Heart Is A Garden, Riddle, To Dream of You, You, among other notable works.

Sources: - Dillon, C.J. “A Blind Boy Composer.” Kansas City Star. 8 January 1906. - “Music And Musicians.” Kansas City Star. 13 September 1908.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

American Composers Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0078
Scope and Contents

The American Composers Collection includes material related to over 150 composers, including manuscript music scores, programs, correspondence, news clippings, and other items. Material varies with composer, from a single item to several folders. The collection was amassed from various donations to the University of Missouri-Kansas City before being given to the Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections. Provenance is noted when known.

Dates: 1894 - 2006

Carlton Balfour, 1931-1936

 Series
Scope and Contents From the Collection:

The American Composers Collection includes material related to over 150 composers, including manuscript music scores, programs, correspondence, news clippings, and other items. Material varies with composer, from a single item to several folders. The collection was amassed from various donations to the University of Missouri-Kansas City before being given to the Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections. Provenance is noted when known.

Dates: 1931-1936

Additional filters:

Type
Archival Record 1
Collection 1
 
Subject
Music 1
Music: Classical and Sacred 1