Adriance Hilgarde

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Composer from the short story "A Death in the Desert," by Willa Cather, first published in Scribner's in January 1903. He's not actually in the story, but his brother, Windermere, who's a dead ringer for him, is. Windermere comes to Cheyenne, and ends up visiting singer Katharine Gaylord, who was a pupil of Adriance.

Adriance likes French composers Massenet and Chaminade.

"How fond people have always been of Adriance! Now tell me the latest news of him. I haven't heard, except through the press, for a year or more. He was in Algiers then, in the valley of the Chelif, riding horseback night and day in an Arabian costume, and in his usual enthusiastic fashion he had quite made up his mind to adopt the Mahometan faith and become as nearly an Arab as possible. How many countries and faiths has he adopted, I wonder? Probably he was playing Arab to himself all the time. I remember he was a sixteenth-century duke in Florence once for weeks together."

"Oh, that's Adriance," chuckled Windermere. "He is himself barely long enough to write checks and be measured for his clothes. I didn't hear from him while he was an Arab; I missed that."

"Well, he had a piano carted out into the desert somehow, and was living in a tent beside a dried water-course grown up with dwarf oleanders. He was writing an Algerian suite for the piano then; it must be in the publisher's hands by this time. I have been too ill to answer his letter, and have lost touch with him."

Windermere drew a letter from his pocket. "This came about a month ago. It's chiefly about his new opera which is to be brought out in London next winter. Read it at your leisure."

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