Penn Library Department of Special Collections

William Penn

Keffer Collection of Sheet Music,
ca. 1790-1895

Content and design by John Bewley

Collection History
Guide Statistics
Focus on Philadelphia
Composers Publishers Lithographers Images and Music
List of Topics
Related Resources

Philadelphia Composers and Music Publishers: Henri Capron (fl. 1785-1795)

Henri Capron, born in France, was a violoncellist, composer, singer, publisher, and impresario who played vital roles in the musical life of Philadelphia. While still in France, Capron was a pupil of the violoncellist and composer Pierre Gavinies (1728-1800). By 1785 Capron was in Philadelphia where he worked with Alexander Reinagle, William Brown, and Alexander Juhan as a manager of a subscription concert series. He and Reinagle also produced concerts in New York where Capron lived from 1788 to 1792. While in New York Capron also performed with the Old American Opera Company orchestra. He returned from New York to live permanently in Philadelphia.

In addition to his work as a concert manager, Capron was also active as a violoncellist, both as a soloist in concertos and as a member of chamber ensembles. He also performed as a singer, often in pairing with vocalist Mary Ann Pownall. As was the custom of the day, Capron and Reinagle often featured their own compositions on their concert programs.

In March 1793 Capron began another facet of his music career, that of music publisher. He partnered with John Christopher Möller to form the firm of Möller & Capron, one of the first music publishers in the United States. The firm's first publication, Möller & Capron's Monthly Numbers, was issued as a periodical, as the title suggests. Based on the number of extant issues, it seems likely that Möller & Capron only issued four items in this series. The partnership ceased operation by the end of 1793 possibly due to serious illness suffered by Capron.

Compositions by Capron in the Collection

Item No.TitleImprintPlate No.Illustration
Box 4
no. 3
Delia : a new song / by H. Capron Philadelphia : G. Willig, 1793 None None
Box 4
no. 4
Go Lovely Rose, Thy Station Choose / the music by H. Capron ; words by Edward Atkins Philadelphia : G. Willig, between 1798 and 1804 None None
Box 4
no. 5
New Kate of Aberdeen / the music by H. Capron Philadelphia : G. Willig, 1801 None None


Philadelphia Music Publishers

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