Florio, Caryl [Robjohn, W(illiam) J(ames)]
- William Osborne
[Robjohn, W(illiam) J(ames)]
(b Tavistock, Devon, England, Nov 2, 1843; d Morganton, NC, Nov 21, 1920). American composer and musician of British birth. In 1858 his branch of the Robjohn family immigrated to New York, where William became a boy treble soloist and later assistant organist to Henry B. Cutler at Trinity Church. He was apparently mostly self-trained as a musician. From 1861 until 1867 he acted in a touring theatrical company, but then returned to New York to work as a chamber music pianist and accompanist, church musician, conductor (founder of a Palestrina Choir in 1886, manifesting his interest in Renaissance music), translator, teacher, critic, and music editor. In 1870, reacting to his family’s opposition to a vocation in music, he assumed the pseudonym of Caryl Florio. His ambitions as composer and performer were manifested in a 27 March 1888 concert in Steinway Hall, noticed in unflattering terms the following day in ...