(b Ashby, MA, 1 March 1811; d Boston, 15 March 1871). American maker of brass instruments. He began his career in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in the late 1830s. In 1841 he moved to Boston and began making valved brass instruments in addition to those with keys. He exhibited a keyed trumpet in the 1841 Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association fair. A valve trumpet of his, now in the Smithsonian Institution, is known to date from 1845. He is known to have worked in Lowell, Massachusetts, briefly in 1858 and 1859. Throughout his career a wide variety of valved brass instruments came from his shop and his excellent E keyed bugles brought him considerable fame. Many were made of silver and gold as presentation pieces for famous bandleaders and soloists; the most elaborate of these is a 12-key instrument of solid gold made for D.C. Hall in 1850 (now at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan).
About 1869 the employees of E.G. Wright and of Graves & Co. amalgamated to form the Boston Musical Instrument Manufactory. Although both Wright and Samuel Graves may have helped to found the new company, neither of them continued with it. For the last two years of his life Wright worked with D.C. Hall and B.F. Quinby. Instruments signed by Wright are found in many collections, notably the John H. Elrod Memorial Collection, Germantown, Maryland; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Shrine to Music Museum, University of South Dakota; and the Henry Ford Museum.
R.E.Eliason: Keyed Bugles in the United States (Washington DC, 1972), 20, 32–41
R.E.Eliason: Early American Brass Makers (Nashville, TN, 1979), 23–34
R.T.Dudgeon: The Keyed Bugle (Metuchen, NJ, 1993), 65
ROBERT E. ELIASON
Wright, (Frederick) Lawrence
(b Leicester, 15 Feb 1888; d Blackpool, 16 May 1964). British popular music publisher and songwriter. The son of a violin teacher and music stallholder, he performed as a violinist and singer with various concert parties and at the age of 18 set up his own music stall in Leicester. He rapidly built up his business and began publishing songs of his own. In 1911 he moved to London and set up business in Denmark Street, laying the foundations of London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’. After World War I he opened demonstration shops in Blackpool and elsewhere to promote new songs, often with elaborate publicity. Before he moved to London he adopted the pseudonym Horatio Nicholls, under which he wrote most of his firm’s most successful songs: Dream of Delight (1916), Delilah (1917), That Old Fashioned Mother of Mine (1919), The Toy Drum Major (1924), Babette (1925), Among My Souvenirs (1927), Shepherd of the Hills (1927), Amy (1930), When the Guards are on Parade (1931). He also wrote under other names, including Gene Williams (Wyoming, 1920) and Betsy O’Hagan (Old Father Thames, 1933). Wright founded the musical weekly Melody Maker in 1926, and was a director of the Performing Right Society and president of the National Brass Band Club. After his death his publishing firm, the Lawrence Wright Music Company, was acquired by Northern Songs and later by Associated Television. (E. Rogers and M. Hennessey: Tin Pan Alley, London, 1964)
Wright, Maurice (Willis)
(b Front Royal, VA, 17 Oct 1949).American composer. He studied composition at Duke University with Iain Hamilton, and at Columbia University with Jack Beeson, Mario Davidovsky, Charles Dodge and Chou Wen-chung. He taught at Columbia and Boston universities before joining the composition department at Temple University in 1980. His honours include an award from the Guggenheim Foundation and commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the American Brass Quintet, the Emerson String Quartet and the Boston SO, among others. An extremely prolific composer, Wright has a wide range of compositional interests. He has written for both acoustic and electronic instruments, often in combination, as in the Cantata for tenor, percussion and electronic sounds (1975) and the two-act opera The Trojan Conflict (1989), in which a quartet of oboe, horn, viola and cello is balanced by four continuously droning synthesizers. Though his early works rely on serial techniques, later music (after 1980) became increasingly lyrical and tonally orientated. Many of his works have been recorded.
Dramatic: The Fifth String (op, 1, Wright, after J.P. Sousa), 1985; The Trojan Conflict (op, 2), 1989; Dr Franklin (op, 2), 1990; 12 film scores, 1977–95
Inst: Sonata exotica, trbn, pf, 1973; Chbr Sym., fl, cl, tpt, trbn, vn, vc, pf, 1974; Chbr Sym., 2 fl, 2 hn, 2 vc, 1975; A Noise Did Rise Like Thunder, solo b trbn, a fl, eng hn, flugelhorn, db, pf, 1976; 5 Pieces, va, 1976; Chbr Sym., wind qnt, 1977; Stellae, orch, 1978; Chbr Sym., fl, ob, vc, pf, 1979; Pf Sonata, 1983; Pf Suite, 1983; Chbr Sym., fl, ob, str qt, db, pf, 1984; Chbr Sym., 11 insts, 1985; Grand Duo, va, perc, 1985; Trio, ob, hn, pf, 1985; Brass Qnt, 1986; A Solo Suite, va, 1987; Qt, a + b sax, euphonium + tuba, perc, pf + DX7 synth, 1987; Night Scenes, orch, 1988; Pf Sonata no.2, 1992; Concertpiece, mar, orch, 1993; October, tpt, vn, va, vc, db, perc, pf, 1994; Pf Trio, 1994; Chbr Sym., 9 insts, 1996
Vocal: Basilios' Lament (Wright), S, fl, pf, 1976; The Fat Man (V. Thompson), chorus, 1976; loneliness (e.e cummings), 3 S, tpt, vc, pf, 1978; Madrigals, chorus, 1978; Night Watch, S, pf, 1978; Like an Autumn Sky (T. Robbins, W. Shakespeare), chorus, 1980; Missa brevis, chorus, 1980; EARTH SKY SEA TREES BIRDS HOUSE BEASTS FLOWERS (K. Rexoth), high v, pf, 1982
El-ac: Cantata (R. Herrick, 17th-century Eng.), T, perc, elec, 1975; Chbr Sym., pf, elec, 1976; Stellar Frags., elec, 1979; Holding Together, pf, elec, 1981; In Seven Parts, 1981; Marimba Music, mar, elec, 1981; Music for 10 Insts and Elec Sound, 1981; Riverside, fl, cl, vn, va, vc, pf, elec, 1981; Broadcast Sequence with Train Effects, 1982; Set Up Music, perc, elec, 1982; Solos, fl + pic + a fl, elec, 1983; Qt, str qt, cptr, 1987
Principal publishers: Mobart, Merion
Principal recording companies: New World, Smithsonian, CRI