Charles Martin Loeffler in a 1903 portrait by John Singer Sargent, at the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum.

In Thursday’s (5/16) Washington Post, Michael Andor Brodeur writes, “One of Graeme Steele Johnson’s 2020 [program-writing] assignments found him researching [a work] by composer, Charles Martin Loeffler—one whose name we don’t hear much today, but who, at the time of his death in 1935, was hailed as ‘the Dean of American composers.’ Among Loeffler’s documented works was a mysterious octet—one that caught Johnson’s attention … Johnson tracked down a listing of the manuscript in the archives of the Library of Congress …  Johnson was shocked to discover 75 perfectly preserved pages … the score alive with Loeffler’s hand, the busy bramble of his revisions, entire pages struck through with scratches and scribbles…. Johnson spent a full year reviewing the 75-page manuscript and compiling its material into a tidy new edition…. On May 22, Johnson and 10 fellow musicians will perform the octet at the Library of Congress’s Coolidge Auditorium … Over his lifetime, Loeffler’s music was performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra some 117 times … He was among the most performed living composers in America … Premiered in 1897 … by the Kneisel Quartet and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Loeffler’s octet received just one additional performance that year … before retreating into obscurity for the next century and a quarter.”