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Definition: Hanson, Howard from Chambers Biographical Dictionary

1896-1981

US composer

Born in Wahoo, Nebraska, of Swedish descent, he was awarded the US Prix de Rome in 1921. After three years' study in Italy, he was appointed director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York State, a post he held until 1964. Under his leadership, the School became a highly important centre of US musical life. His compositions, firmly in the tradition of 19th-century Romanticism, include an opera, The Merry Mount (1933), and seven symphonies.


Summary Article: Hanson, Howard (Harold) from The New Penguin Dictionary of Music

US composer, whose Swedish ancestry may be reflected in the echoes of Grieg and Sibelius in his music. He studied with the great pedagogue Percy Goetschius in New York (1914) and at Northwestern (1915–16), and was the first composer to win a scholarship to the American Academy in Rome (1921–4), where he had orchestration lessons from Respighi. Returning to the USA to direct the Eastman School (1924–64), he was also active as a conductor.

Orchestral: Symphony No.1 ‘Nordic’, E minor, Op.21, 1922; No.2 ‘Romantic’, Op.30, 1930; No.3, Op.33, 1937–8; No.4 ‘The Requiem’, Op.34, 1943; No.5 (Sinfonia sacra), Op.43, 1954; No.6, 1968; No.7 ‘The Sea’ (Whitman), ch, orch, 1977; Serenade, Op.35, fl, hp, str, 1945; Piano Concerto, G, Op.36, 1948; Fantasy-Variations on a Theme of Youth, Op.40, pf, str, 1951; Mosaics, 1957; etc.

Other works: Merry Mount (opera; after Hawthorne), Op.31, f.p. Met, 1934; chamber music, piano pieces, cantatas

Copyright © Paul Griffiths, 2006

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