Hopkins, Edward (John)
(b London, 30 June 1818; d London, 4 Feb 1901). English organist and composer. He belonged to a large family of musicians (see Grove’s Dictionary, 5th edn). His father George Hopkins (1789–1869) was a clarinettist and bandmaster. His younger brother John (1822–1900) was organist of Rochester Cathedral from 1856 until his death, and a composer of church music and songs. His first cousin, John Larkin Hopkins (1819–73), was organist at Rochester from 1841 to 1856 and thereafter at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was also a composer of church music.
Edward Hopkins was a chorister of the Chapel Royal from 1826 to 1833, and thereafter was a pupil of T.F. Walmisley. He became organist of St Peter and St Paul, Mitcham, in 1834, and after other church positions he was elected organist at the Temple Church in 1843. Here he soon acquired a notable reputation, not only as organist but even more as choirmaster. The church had just been restored, and the benchers had decided to introduce a surpliced choir of men and boys and a fully choral service. Through his great ability as a choir trainer Hopkins soon made the music at the Temple Church a model for the choral services that were rapidly becoming established in parish churches throughout the country. He remained at the church until his retirement in 1898, having received a testimonial from the two Honourable Societies of the Temple on the completion of 50 years’ service in 1893.
Hopkins was one of the founders of the College of Organists (1869) and of the Musical Association (1874). He was awarded the Lambeth MusD in 1882. He was a prolific composer of church and organ music of all kinds, and his anthems and services were once in great demand; of his hymn tunes, only one is really well known today, ‘Ellers’ (1869), which he conceived as being ‘in the Mixolydian mode’ because it began and ended on the fifth degree of the scale. His reputation rests chiefly on his excellent treatise The Organ: its History and Construction, published with Rimbault’s History of the Organ (1855/R). This is still an indispensable tool for research on the organ. He also compiled a number of hymnbooks, and edited madrigals by Bennet and Weelkes for the Musical Antiquarian Society, and Purcell’s organ music for Novello. He founded a periodical The Organist and Choirmaster in 1894, and edited it until his death.
Grove5 (W.H. Husk)
MGG1 (C.L. Cudworth)
J.S. Curwen: ‘The Temple Church’, Studies in Worship Music, i (London, 1880, 3/1901), 347–53
‘Dr Edward John Hopkins’, MT, xxxviii (1897), 585 only
C.W. Pearce: The Life and Works of Edward John Hopkins (London, 1910)
‘Musicians of the Temple Church’, Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland: Bulletin, v (1961), 67
B. Rainbow: The Choral Revival in the Anglican Church 1839–1872 (London, 1970)
N. Temperley: The Music of the English Parish Church (Cambridge, 1979/R)
Hopkins, (Charles) Jerome
(b Burlington, VT, 4 April 1836; d Athenia [now Clifton], NJ, 4 Nov 1898). American composer, pianist and music educator. He moved to New York in about 1853, where he performed and lectured, and in 1861 he founded the Orpheon Free Schools to teach sight-singing and basic musicianship to working-class children, shortly afterwards issuing his Method for Teaching Orpheon Singing Classes; he claimed to have educated over 30,000 pupils. In 1864 he began an annual series of concerts to help fund the schools, and founded the Orpheonist and Philharmonic Journal, partly to promote his schools and concerts, and partly to provide a forum for his trenchant musical and social criticism. In 1871 he introduced ‘Piano-lecture Concerts’, which mixed criticism and aesthetic theory with performance. His niece, and his closest companion after the death of his wife in 1876, was the pianist Amy Fay.
Hopkins was a curious amalgam of the traditional singing-school master and the progressive composer and virtuoso performer. His articles, letters and pamphlets (including Music and Snobs, 1888), display a scathing wit; at the same time his pedagogical works and collections of church music were conventional, even staid. He was a champion of American composers as early as 1856, and remained a polemical partisan of native music to the end of his life. As a performer, Hopkins was essentially self-taught, but he was evidently an excellent pianist and organist. His compositions include choral works and operas (many of which were performed repeatedly in his lifetime), concert music, and short piano pieces and songs. He sometimes wrote for unusual ensembles – as in the Dramatic Caprice for five pianos, and the Vespers Service (1875) for three choirs, soloists, two organs, harp, and orchestra. His more conventional pieces, such as the Piano Trio (1857–8), the Serenade in E (1870) and the Symphony (performed under Theodore Thomas), are often idiomatic and engaging. Hopkins’s music manuscripts are at Harvard University, and the New York Public Library has a collection of his letters.
printed works published in New York
Stage: Dumb Love (op), 1878; Taffy and Old Munch (op), 1882
Other vocal: ‘Victory’ Te Deum, 1862; Vespers Service, 1875, US-Wc; Samuel (orat), 1877; songs, incl. The Vermont Farmer’s Song, 1859, pubd
Inst: Rip Van Winkle Polka, pf, 1855, pubd; Pf Trio, 1857–8; The Wind Demon, pf, 1865, pubd; Serenade, E, orch, 1870; Pf Conc. no.1, 1872; Sym., ‘Life’, A; Dramatic Caprice, 5 pf
Editions: A Collection of Sacred Song (1859); Canticles of the Church (1861); Jerome Hopkins’ Second Collection of Church Music (1870)
GroveA (W. Brooks)
Obituary, New York Times (6 Nov 1898)
C. Engel: ‘Views and Reviews’, MQ, xviii (1932), 178–83
R. Jackson: ‘An American Muse Learns to Walk: the First American-Music Group’, American Musical Life in Context and Practice to 1865, ed. J.R. Heintze (New York, 1994), 265–336