1819–1900

Introduction

portrait

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 10, 1819, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: May 7, 1900, De­troit, Mi­chi­gan.

Buried: Wood­lawn Ce­me­te­ry, De­troit, Mi­chi­gan.

Biography

Richard was the son of Dea­con Na­than­i­el Will­is (found­er of The Youth’s Com­pan­ion) and Han­nah Park­er, and bro­ther of poet Na­than­i­el Park­er Will­is.

He at­tend­ed Chaun­cey Hall, the Bos­ton La­tin School, and Yale Un­i­ver­si­ty, grad­u­at­ing in 1841. He then went to Ger­ma­ny, where he st­udied six years un­der Xa­vier Schny­der and Mor­itz Haupt­mann. While there, he be­came a per­so­nal friend of Fe­lix Men­dels­sohn.

After re­turn­ing to Am­er­i­ca, Will­is served as mu­sic cri­tic for the New York Tri­bune, The Al­bi­on, and The Mu­sic­al Times, and edited The Mu­sic­al Times (1852–64).

He moved to De­troit in 1861, where he lived the rest of his life, ex­cept 1874–78, when he was in It­a­ly while his daugh­ter at­tend­ed school.

Publications

Sources

Music