Born: Sep­tem­ber 25, 1871, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: March 8, 1944, Vent­nor City, New Jer­sey.

Buried: For­est Hills Ce­me­te­ry, Ja­mai­ca Plain, Mas­sa­chu­setts.



Percy was the son of Will­iam Ath­er­ton, a Bos­ton lea­ther mer­chant, and Ma­ry Ed­wards Dwight; grand­son of Sam­uel Ath­er­ton (1784–1877), a found­ing mem­ber of the Stough­ton Mu­sic­al So­cie­ty; and a des­cend­ant of Ma­jor Gen­er­al Humph­rey Ath­er­ton ( ca.1608–61), a Pu­ri­tan and ear­ly set­tler of Mas­sa­chu­setts Bay Co­lo­ny.

He stu­died at the Bos­ton La­tin School and the Phill­ips Aca­de­my, An­do­ver, Mas­sa­chu­setts, gra­du­at­ing in 1889. He gra­du­at­ed from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty in 1893 with hon­ors in mu­sic.

He then spent two years at the Kö­nig­liche bay­er­ische Mu­siks­chule in Mu­nich un­der Jo­sef Rhein­ber­ger and Lud­wig Thuille.

In 1896, he stu­died with Otis Bard­well Boise in Ber­lin, in 1900 with Gi­o­van­ni Sgam­ba­ti in Rome, and lat­er with Charles Ma­rie Wi­dor in Pa­ris.

Atherton was act­ing chief of the mu­sic di­vision of the Unit­ed States Lib­ra­ry of Con­gress, 1929–42.


He com­posed a num­ber of co­mic op­er­as, do­zens of songs, and a num­ber of vi­o­lin and pi­ano piec­es, and:



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Ath­er­ton (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),