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Definition: Schuman, William Howard from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


US composer

Born in New York City, he studied under Roy Harris and at Salzburg, winning in 1943 the first Pulitzer Prize to be awarded to a composer. He became president of the Juilliard School of Music (1945-62) and of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (1962-69) in New York. His work ranges from the lighthearted (such as his opera, The Mighty Casey, 1953), to the austere. He composed ten symphonies, concertos for piano and violin, and several ballets, as well as choral and orchestral works.

Summary Article: Schuman, William Howard
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US composer and teacher. His music is melodic, if sometimes tempered by polytonality, and often emphasizes motoric rhythm or other intense rhythms, as in American Festival Overture (1939). His large-scale conception suits the orchestral medium, for which he has written nine symphonies. He has also written chamber and vocal works.

He studied at Columbia University, USA, and at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria. In 1936 he was appointed teacher at the Columbia University summer school and in 1938 at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Later he studied with Roy Harris, and had his first major success when his 3rd symphony was premiered under Stokowski in 1941. In 1945 he succeeded Carl Engel as director of music publications in the music publisher Schirmer in New York and Ernest Hutcheson as president of the Juilliard School of Music, New York. He was director of the Lincoln Center, New York, 1961–69.

WorksStage baseball opera The Mighty Casey (1953); ballets Choreographic Poem, Undertone, Night Journey; incidental music for Shakespeare's Henry VIII; film music for Steeltown; Judith (choreographic poem).

Choral two secular cantatas for chorus and orchestra; four Canonic Choruses, Pioneers, Requiescat (without words), and other pieces for unaccompanied chorus.

Orchestral ten symphonies (1936–76), overtures American Festival and William Billings; Prayer in Time of War (1943) and Side-Show for orchestra; symphony for string orchestra (1943).

OtherNewsreel for military band; piano concerto, violin concerto (1947); four string quartets (1936–50), canon and fugue for piano trio; quartettino for four bassoons; Three-Score Set for piano.

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