ARTHUR, ALFRED F. (8 Oct. 1844-20 Nov. 1918), was a noted tenor, cornetist, conductor, educator, composer, and compiler. Son of Hamilton and Margaret (Hanna) Arthur, he was born in Pittsburgh and received his early training in Ashland, Ohio, and at the Boston Music School. Following further education in Europe and service in the CIVIL WAR (1861-65), he moved to Cleveland in 1871. He was active as a choral conductor, most notably with the CLEVELAND VOCAL SOCIETY which he founded in 1873 and conducted through 29 seasons. Arthur also conducted a short series of purely orchestral concerts at Brainard's Piano Rooms in 1872, which mark a real beginning for orchestral music in Cleveland. These programs included vocal solos, waltzes, and other light pieces by Strauss, along with overtures and parts or all of symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn.
As an educator, Arthur founded the Cleveland School of Music (inc. 1875), to which he gave considerable attention and which continued under the management of Arthur's son until his death in 1938. As a composer, Arthur wrote a number of songs and 3 operas, The Water Carrier (1875), The Roundheads and Cavaliers (1878), and Adaline (1879), none of them published. He authored several technical studies and compiled 2 hymnals, The Evangelical Hymnal and The Spirit of Praise, as well as a popular choral collection, Brainard's Choir Anthems (1879). In 1871 Arthur married Kate Burnham. They had 3 children: a daughter, Ada, and 2 sons, Edwin and Alfred F. He died at his home in LAKEWOOD and is buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.