Amy Woodforde-Finden (1860 – 13 March 1919) was a composer who is best known for writing the music to "Kashmiri Song" from Four Indian Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope.
Amy Woodforde-Finden was born Amelia Rowe Ward in 1860 at Valparaíso, Chile, the youngest daughter of American parents, Alfred and Virginia Worthington Heath Ward. Alfred served as a US Consul after being recommended by Balie Peyton, US Ambassador to Chile under President Zachary Taylor. Her father died in 1867 and her mother moved the family to London, where Virginia became a naturalized British citizen in 1873. Around that time Amy displayed a skill for composition and became a student of Carl Schloesser and Amy Horrocks. Her early work, published as Amy Ward, though promising, was received only tepidly.
At the age of 34, she married Brigade-Surgeon Woodforde Finden, who served during the Second Afghan War and Third Burmese War with the Bengal establishment of the Indian Medical Service; they lived in India for several years, and during her time there she wrote and published what would become her most famous pieces: The Lover in Damascus and Kashmiri Song. The latter was originally self-published in 1902 but because of its popularity and the influence of Hamilton Earle, it was eventually published by Boosey & Co. The popularity of Kashmiri Song and The Lover in Damascus kept her in the good graces of her publishing house and in the hearts of her audience. Her songs are noted for their sentimentality, their romantic fluidity and how they blend a particularly British, middle-class sensibility with an Asian pastiche. In the years that followed the success of Kashmiri Song, Amy composed On Jhelum River, The Pagoda of Flowers and Stars of the Desert.
The year 1916 was a bitter-sweet one for Amy: she lost her husband in April and her work was featured in the film Less Than the Dust. This was just the first of her work to be showcased in film. In 1943 Kashmiri Song would be used in the film Hers To Hold. Amy moved back to London after she lost her husband, and survived him by only three years, dying on 13 March 1919. It is said that she died composing at the piano. Amy is buried in Hampsthwaite churchyard in North Yorkshire, and her memorial is a recumbent figure in white marble.
The legacy Amy Woodforde-Finden leaves is one of bridging cultures with music and words. She interpreted the sounds and motives of Asian-South Asian music to an American-European audience and transported the listener to a world of romance and the exotic.
Birth and Death Data: Born 1860 (Valparaíso), Died March 13th, 1919 (London)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1908 - 1942
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 53 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||B-6372||10-in.||8/29/1908||Kashmiri love song||Evan Williams||Tenor vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||B-18757||10-in.||11/24/1916||Kashmiri song||Lambert Murphy||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-18757||10-in.||11/19/1926||Kashmiri song||Lambert Murphy||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-26145||10-in.||3/6/1922||Less than the dust||Elsie Baker||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-27330||10-in.||12/20/1922||Kashmiri song||Reinald Werrenrath||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-27330||10-in.||6/21/1929||Kashmiri song||Reinald Werrenrath||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-28515||10-in.||8/29/1923||Kashmiri song (Un canto de Kashmiri)||The Troubadours||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||B-29431||10-in.||2/1/1924||Till I wake||Royal Dadmun||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-29658||10-in.||3/12/1924||Less than the dust||Royal Dadmun||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-30272||10-in.||6/12/1924||Kashmiri song||Fannie Shreve Heartsill||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||CVE-34768||12-in.||4/12/1926||Indian love lyrics, part 1||Victor Salon Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||CVE-34769||12-in.||4/12/1926||Indian love lyrics, part 2||Victor Salon Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||CVE-42419||12-in.||2/7/1928||Temple bells||Victor Salon Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-57729||10-in.||11/25/1929||Kashmiri song||Hernández Brothers||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BVE-62313||10-in.||5/27/1930||Kashmiri song||Connecticut Yankees||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BS-73088||10-in.||7/8/1932||The temple bells||Conrad Thibault ; Theodore Walstrum||Baritone vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BSHQ-73089||10-in.||7/8/1932||Less than the dust||Conrad Thibault ; Theodore Walstrum||Baritone vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BSHQ-73090||10-in.||7/8/1932||Kashmiri song||Conrad Thibault ; Theodore Walstrum||Baritone vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BSHQ-73091||10-in.||7/8/1932||Till I awake||Conrad Thibault ; Theodore Walstrum||Baritone vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||PBS-042563||10-in.||3/8/1940||Kashmiri love song||Kenny Baker ; David Broekman||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BS-071779||10-in.||2/9/1942||Kashmiri song||Joe Reichman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BVE-Test-1736||10-in.||6/28/1932||Kashmiri song||Conrad Thibault||Baritone vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Columbia||80165||10-in.||1/26/1922||Kashmiri song||Louis Graveure||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||80569||10-in.||9/28/1922||Less than the dust||Louis Graveure||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||80570||10-in.||9/28/1922||The temple bells||Louis Graveure||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Woodforde-Finden, Amy," accessed July 29, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108932.
Woodforde-Finden, Amy. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108932.
"Woodforde-Finden, Amy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 July 2021.
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