Monday, August 03, 2015

Victor Bergquist, composer of Reformation Cantata at Augie, "Music and 1917" series on Lutheran, Swedish hymnody for 400th anniversary

J Victor Bergquist bio on Augustana College library website at

Composer John Victor Bergquist was head of the Augustana College music department and leader of the Handel Oratorio Society and Wennerberg chorus from 1912 to 1918. One of Bergquist’s original compositions, Golgatha, was performed by the Handel Oratorio Society with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1915. Also in 1915, Bergquist, along with Dr. E.W. Olson, was commissioned by the Augustana Synod to compose a piece, the Reformation Cantata, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. This piece was performed in 1917 in Rock Island, Illinois, by a 400-member chorus and the Tri-City Orchestra.

Sources: Bergendoff, Conrad. Augustana… A Profession of Faith: A History of Augustana College, 1860-1935. Rock Island, IL: Augustana College Library, 1969.

Laudon, Robert Tallant. “J. Victor Bergquist: Finding Joy in Music.” Minnesota Musicians of the Cultured Generation. Minneapolis: University of Michigan, 2002.

Bergquist wrote a series of articles for The Lutheran Companion, Nov. 1916-Jan. 1917, on the synod's Reformation heritage:

  • 11 Nov. 1916. Intro by editorial staff, pp. 1-2; Part I [not numbered] by Bergquist, p. 7.
  • 18 Nov. 1916. Part II, p. 8.
  • 25 Nov. 1916. Part III, p. 6.
  • 9 Dec. 1916. Part IV, p. 8.
  • 16 Dec. Part V, p. 8.
  • 6 Jan. 1917, p. 8. Part VI.
  • 13 Jan. 1917, p. 19. Part VII.
  • 27 Jan. 1917, p. 44. Part VII (sic).

[Beginning in January 1917, pages were numbered consecutively; prior to that, each issue was paginated separately.]

Intro to series (11 Nov.):

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