Born: June 2, 1828, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: No­vem­ber 27, 1916, Brook­line, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Buried: Mount Au­burn Ce­me­te­ry, Cam­bridge, Mas­sa­chu­setts.



Parker gra­du­at­ed from Har­vard Col­lege and pre­pared him­self for the pro­fess­ion of law, but his in­tense love of mu­sic con­quered ev­ery­thing else.

After stu­dy­ing in Bos­ton, he went to Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny, where he stu­died un­der the mas­ters and quick­ly be­came a pro­fi­cient com­pos­er and per­form­er.

He re­turned to Bos­ton in 1854, and soon took a lead­ing po­si­tion in the mu­sic­al com­mu­ni­ty there. In 1862, he or­gan­ized the Park­er Club, an ama­teur vo­cal­ist as­so­ci­ation that per­formed works such as Niels Gade’s Co­ma­la, Men­dels­sohn’s Wal­pur­gis Night, Ber­li­oz’ Flight in­to Egypt, Schu­mann’s Pa­ra­dise and the Pe­ri and Pil­grim­age of the Rose.

As of 1886, Park­er was org­an­ist at Bos­ton’s Tri­ni­ty Church and taught or­gan, pi­ano, and har­mo­ny. He also played or­gan for the Bos­ton Han­del and Hay­dn So­cie­ty, and was a pro­fessor at the Col­lege of Mu­sic as­so­ci­at­ed with Bos­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. He com­posed his Re­demp­tion Hymn (words from Isai­ah 51) in 1877, for so­lo con­tral­to and cho­rus. It was first per­formed by the Han­del and Hay­dn So­cie­ty, and sub­se­quent­ly by mu­sic­al so­cie­ties all ov­er Am­er­ica.