Composers of the 20th Century, Part II

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Composers of Les Six

Aurie, Durey, Honegger, Milhaud, Poilenc, Tailleferre

Honegger

Swiss National. Educated at Paris Conservatory. Style: Short melodies, ostinatos, dissonant

Milhaud

born in Marseilles, Jewish family. Moved to USA, faculty of Mills College

Poulenc

Style distinctly Parisian

Stravinsky

Born near St. Petersberg, Russia. Expected to study law at St. Petersberg University. Instead studied composition from Rimsky-Korsakov. Employed by Pleyel to record music on player rolls. Conducted concerts with LA Phil. Added 7th to national anthem and detained by Boston police. Moved to New York until his death.

Schoenberg

born in Vienna to a Jewish family. Mostly self-taught in music. Taught at Vienna Conservatory. Students included Berg and Webern. Authored Harmonielehre (Theory of Harmony). Style of First Period: Chromatic Romanticism. Second Period: Atonality. Emphasized colors. Composed first 12 tone piece.

Berg

Born in Vienna, no formal music training until studying with Schoenberg, served in WWI. Returned to Vienna and taught privately. Died at age 50 of blood poisoning. Use of tone rows.

Webern

Born in Vienna, attended U of Vienna. Studied composition with Schoenberg. Conductor of Worker's Symphony Orchestra. Denounced by Nazis, unable to perform or publish. Accidentally killed by a soldier at war's end.Tonal serialism, tone rows, short pieces.

Boulanger

French composer and teacher. Students include Copland, Thompson, Harris, Diamond, Fine, Piston, Moore, Carter, and Glass.

Ives

born in Danbury, Connecticut. Studied at Yale with Parker. Opened successful insurance agency--originated concept of estate planning. Organist and composer at church in Danbury. 1927, ceased compositions. Free dissonance, polytonality, multi/asymmetrical meters, experimental forms, tone clusters.

Copland

Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family. Lessons from Goldmark. Achieved national reputation and financial security with his ballet compositions. Accused of being a communist. 1960s became more of a conductor. Awarded Congressional Gold Medal. Students: Adler, Bowles, Ginastera.

Gershwin

Born in Brooklyn, Parents Russian Jews. Studied with Hambitzer, Goldmark, and Cowell. Composed musicals with brother. Traveled to Paris, rejected for study with Boulanger and Ravel. Incorporated jazz into art music compositions. Use of traditional opera elements, neoclassic techniques, and 20th century techniques.

Harris

Folksongs/modal melodies, counterpoint, large wind sections. 14 symphonies.

Cowell

Member of "American Five." Studied at UC Berkley. Arrested and incarcerated on Moral Charges (Bisexual). Used piano in non-traditional ways.

Varese

born in France, moved to NY in 1915. Focused on manipulation of sound masses.

Barber

Born in Westchester, Pennsylvania. Entered Curtis Institute in Philadelphia to study piano, composition, and voice. Served with Army in WWII. Two Pulitzer Prizes. Suffered from alcoholism and depression after failure of 3rd opera.

Bernstein

Conductor and composer. Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Attended Harvard to study music. Influcnced by Piston, Davidson, and Mitropoulos. Copland his composition teacher. Enrolled in Curits Music Institute, studied with Thompson. Studied at Tanglewood. Asst. Conductor of NY Phil. Music director of NY Symphony. Blacklisted in 1950s. Young People's Concerts for CBS. Friend of JFK.

Rorem

Born in Richmond, Indiana. Educated at Curtis Institute & Northwestern. Moved to Paris. Composer at U of Buffalo. Professor then composer at U of Utah. Composition prof at Curtis Institute. Currently lives is NYC. Many types of music, authored 16 books.

Crumb

New sounds from ordinary instruments. New & unusual score configurations.

Babbit

Studied with Sessions. Taught math at Princeton. Piano and string music.

Cage

Forefront of new musical developments in indeterminacy. All controls of composition left to listener. Partial indeterminacy.

Hindemith

born in Germany. Studied violin & piano at age 9. Age 13, awarded a scholarship to Hoch Conserv. in Frankfurt. Age 20, first violinist in Frankfurt opera. Drafted into army for WWII. Taught at Berlin Hochschule fur Musik. Moved to Switzerland due to censorship. Taught at U of Zurich and Yale. Active as a conductor and retired from teaching at age 61. Authored The Craft of Musical Composition.

Tippet

Choral conductor with numerous vocal compositions. Orchestra compositions inspired by Javanese music.

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