Malotte, Albert Hay

Albert Hay Malotte (May 19, 1895 – November 16, 1964) was an American pianist, organist, composer and educator, best known for his musical setting of "The Lord's Prayer"

Malotte was the son of Charles and Katherine (Donavon) Malotte. He was in Boy Scouts of America Troop 1, the first Boy Scout troop in Philadelphia. Malotte graduated from Tioga High School and sang at Saint James Episcopal Church in Philadelphia as a choir boy. He studied with Victor Herbert, W. S. Stansfield, and later in Paris with organist Georges Jacob. His career as an organist began in Chicago where he played for silent pictures, and he later concertized throughout the US and Europe.

During World War II he held the rank of captain in the Special Services for two years while he toured with the USO and entertained troops in New Guinea, Australia and Europe. At one point he sponsored his own troupe of entertainers that included Judith Anderson, Anne Triola and Helen McClure Preister. Malotte was an amateur pilot, avid golfer and even boxed with Jack Dempsey in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent most of his career as a composer in Hollywood.

Malotte married Marguerite Stevens Hester on August 23, 1946. His first wife, Elmina Todd, had died the previous year in Hollywood.

Malotte composed a number of film scores, including mostly uncredited music for animations from the Disney studios. Although two movies for which he composed scores won best Short Subject Academy Awards (Ferdinand the Bull in 1939 and The Ugly Duckling in 1940), he is best remembered for a setting of "The Lord's Prayer". Written in 1935, it was first recorded by baritone John Charles Thomas, and has remained popular in churches, concerts and recordings. Malotte composed a number of other religious pieces, including settings of the Beatitudes and of the Twenty-third Psalm which have also remained popular as solos. His secular songs, such as "Ferdinand the Bull" (from the Disney animated short of the same name), "For my mother" (a setting of a poem by 12-year-old Bobby Sutherland) and "I am proud to be an American" are less well remembered. Some of his works are collected in the library of the University of California Los Angeles and the Library of Congress.

In addition, Malotte wrote uncredited stock music for many other films in the 1930s and early 1940s, including twenty-two of Disney's Silly Symphonies and other shorts, among them Little Hiawatha and Ferdinand the Bull. He also composed cantatas, oratorios, musicals and ballets. Malotte owned Apple Valley Music.

There are no biographies or studies of Malotte's life and compositions in English, but there is a short one in Spanish published by Purchena's Town Council in 2013, with the institutional support of the United States Embassy in Spain, written by the musician Bartolomé Llorens Peset. This book, called Fiesta en Purchena: Los Juegos Moriscos de Aben Humeya en la obra del compositor estadounidense Albert Hay Malotte, also encloses a recording of "Fiesta in Purchena" performed by Tomeu Moll, a pianist from Valencia.

Malotte died of pneumonia in 1964 and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.

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