The music which followed Hiawatha included the Scenes
from an Everyday Romance suite (1900) and the concert overture
Toussaint L'Ouverture (1901), but these were not received
with the enthusiasm for which he might have hoped. In 1903 the Three
Choirs Festival commissioned another choral work, The Atonement.
This failed to satisfy the public, which would continue to love
Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. Coleridge-Taylor had famously
sold the rights to Hiawatha for a flat fee of £25
15s. He received £250 for the two sequels, more than twice
his annual income at the time of his death, but he now had a family
to support and he needed to continue working.
Between 1898 and 1907 he was chief conductor of the Croydon Symphony
Orchestra and resident conductor to the Westmoreland Festival, as
well as the Rochester Choral Society. In 1904 he became chief conductor
to the Handel Society concerts, a post he held until his death.
At the same time he served as guest conductor for performances of
Hiawatha (by 1904, it had been performed 200 times in England).
He also lectured in Croydon, later joining Trinity College of Music
(1903), Crystal Palace School of Art and Music (1905) and then the
Guildhall School of Music as professor of composition.
In between jobs he acted as an adjudicator at various festivals
and competitions, including the National Eisteddfod of Wales in
1900. At same time he became a frequent collaborator of the actor-manager
Herbert Beerbohm Tree at His Majesty's Theatre, and (presumably
in his spare time) he also wrote other choral works, as well as
pieces for strings and for piano, orchestral works, and an unpublished
grand opera (Thelma, 1907-09).
Guest-curated for the British Library by Mike Phillips
Next - 'Coleridge-Taylor in private'