- H. Earle Johnson
- , revised by Nancy Newman
(b Malchow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, July 28, 1826; d Milton, MA, Dec 29, 1909). American conductor and flautist of Germanorigin. Zerrahn studied with Friedrich Weber in Rostock from age 12, moving to Hanover and then Berlin, where he joined the Germania Musical Society as a flute player in 1848. During the six years the orchestra toured the United States, he was featured as a virtuoso soloist and occasional composer. After the Germania disbanded, Zerrahn remained in Boston and became conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society (1854–98), the Orchestral Union (1854–68) and the Philharmonic (1857–63). He conducted the newly-formed Harvard Musical Association Orchestra from its inception in 1865 until it disbanded in 1882. The ensemble gave the American premières of works by Mozart, Haydn, and Mendelssohn, and promoted new compositions such as John Knowles Paine’s Symphony No.2. Zerrahn was a renowned choral director throughout New England, directing the Handel and Haydn Society’s triennial festivals for more than two decades, the Worcester County Music Association Festivals (...