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Herbert, Victor, 1859-1924



  • Existence: February 1, 1859 - May 26, 1924


Herbert was born in Ireland, but completed his musical training in cello performance at the Stuttgart Conservatory. Upon graduation, he secured a job with the Stuttgart Symphony where he played as both a section player and a soloist for five years. It was during this time he met his wife whose career as an operatic soprano drew the Herberts to New York. For Victor, what started as a career in freelance cello, became that of teacher at the National Conservatory, and eventually led him to a position as conductor of the Pittsburg Orchestra. Compositionally Herbert is known best for his theatre works, the most popular of which, Babes in Toyland, was written in 1903. His work Eileen, chronicles the Irish rebellion of 1798. In 1914 he was one of the founders of ASCAP, of which he remained a vice-president and director until his death, and in 1917 he won a landmark suit carried to the Supreme Court giving composers the right to collect performance fees (through ASCAP) for public performance of their work.