Text Box: COMPOSER autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247


Price: $650.00



Autographed British sepia matter photograph of the March King while on his European tour, 1905. We include the 10 page tour guide for his 1903-1904 World tour.


Sousa (1854 - 1932) was born into an immigrant family in Washington D.C.  His father a trombonist in the United States Marine Band encouraged his son’s musical interest and Sousa as a boy was a highly accomplished violinist, studying with John Esputa Senior and even longer with John Esputa Junior who ran a local music school.  Esputa Junior in addition to teaching him violin, also taught him various band instruments in which he became quite proficient.  His father apprenticed him to the Marine Band in 1868 at the age of thirteen to keep his son from joining the circus. He remained with the band until 1875 when he went to Philadelphia to compose and play the violin in pit orchestras there.  He even played under the baton of Jacques Offenbach in 1875 during his American tour.  Sousa eventually was sought in 1880 as the next band leader of the Marine Band and officially took the position on October 1, 1880.  For the next 22 years, Sousa led the band and composed endlessly including some of his most famous marches like, “The Gladiator”, “Semper Fidelis”, “The Washington Post”, “The Thunderer” were all written while he headed the band.  He took the band on their first national tours, in 1891 and 1892.  Exhausted after 22 years he retired on July 30, 1892.  On the advice of his manager, David Blakely, he went to Europe to relax and take in the European military bands on parade.  The works listed above were so popular by that point, he heard the European bands play them whilst there.  He returned to America a month later and formed the greatest band of musicians available and they launched in New Jersey on September 26, 1892.  By then Sousa was akin to a rock star and his popularity was immediate and Sousa’s Band became a huge draw.  The band performed until the year before his death, 1931 with some 15,623 concerts.  (Not including World War I when Sousa re-enlisted and conducted the United States Navy Band.)


Sousa decided to tour Europe with his band in 1900, which led to further European tours in 1901, 1903 and 1905.  In touring, he became an ambassador of American culture and refined music.  The British postcard we offer was signed in England where we purchased it during the 1905 tour.  Sousa is resplendent in his hybrid European military inspired embroidered tunic. The repertory Sousa played in this concerts were a mixture of his original marches, suites, waltzes and polkas, overtures, arrangements of other composer’s works and songs.  Despite Sousa’s massive catalog, he would compose original works for each tour.  For the 1905 tour, Sousa composed, “The Jack Tar March” for the British Navy written after the 1903 tour, “The Diplomat March” written in 1904, “At the Kings Court” written in 1904 based upon his 1903 command performance before Edward VII and for the 1905 command performance.  He also composed an arrangement of the overture to Nicolai’s opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor”.


In pristine condition with a crisp clean autograph!