Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 10, 1819, Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Died: May 7, 1900, Detroit, Michigan.

Buried: Wood­lawn Cem­e­te­ry, Detroit, Michigan.

Brother of po­et Na­than­iel Park­er Will­is, and son of Dea­con Na­than­i­el Will­is (found­er of The Youth’s Com­pan­ion), Ri­chard at­tend­ed Chaun­cey Hall, the Bos­ton La­tin School, and Yale Un­i­ver­si­ty, grad­u­at­ing in 1841. He then went to Ger­ma­ny, where he stu­died six years un­der Xavier Schny­der and Mo­ritz Haupt­mann. While there, he be­came a per­son­al friend of Fe­lix Men­dels­sohn. Af­ter re­turn­ing to Amer­i­ca, Wil­lis served as mu­sic cri­tic for the New York Trib­une, The Al­bi­on, and The Mu­sic­al Times, and edited The Mu­sic­al Times (1852-64). He moved to Detroit in 1861, where he lived the rest of his life, ex­cept 1874-78, when he was in It­a­ly while his daugh­ter at­tend­ed school. His works in­clude:

Sources

Music

  1. Carol
  2. Crusader’s Hymn