Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
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he would one day be an amazing musical genius, so extraordinary were the signs which he gave of artistic precocity, composing sonatas and symphonies with astonishing harmonic accuracy at an age when his fellow-pupils were toiling over exercises on figured bass. Unfortunately, these precocious gifts did not develop with age, and he remained a fine musician, very cultivated, profoundly artistic, but without great originality." Reynaldo Hahn has distinguished himself as a conductor, having led the orchestra at the Cannes Casino and at Salzburg. He is an eminent interpreter of Mozart, upon whom he looks as the greatest composer that ever lived. Hahn lives now in Paris, composing music in a lighter vein with a deft pen; but he plays an altogether unimportant rôle in modern French music.Principal works by Reynaldo Hahn:
OPERA : La Carmélite; Le Bal de Béatrice; Le Dieu Bleu; Esther; L'Ile de Rêve; Fêtes Triomphales, etc.
SONGS : Chansons Grises; Idylles Latines.
ORCHESTRA : Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
Pieces for piano, etc.

About Reynaldo Hahn:

Hahn R. Notes; Journal d'un Musicien. Musical Standard 8:453December 23, 1916.

Important recordings of music by Reynaldo Hahn:

ODEON : L'Heure Exquise; Si Mes Vers Avaient des Ailes.


Howard Hanson 1896-

HOWARD HAROLD HANSON was born on October 28, 1896 in the little town of Wahoo, Nebraska. Born of Swedish parents, the young composer received his early training in this community which had been largely settled in earlier days by Swedish pioneers. This early influence of heredity and environment influenced strongly his earlier compositions and is definitely reflected in his Nordic Symphony, a work in which the composer pays homage to the race of his fathers. Beginning the study of music and attempts at composition at the age of seven, the composer continued his musical studies along with his studies in the grammar school and high school, graduating from the local high school and from the School of Music of Luther College as well. His musical gods of these early days, were, curiously enough, Grieg and Handel, of whose work he has always been very fond.

Leaving Wahoo, he went to the Institute of Musical Art in New York City, studying piano and composition with James Friskin and composition under Percy Goetschius. After graduating from this institution, he registered in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, devoting his time to the study of general academic subjects in addition to composition. He received his degree from this institution at the age of nineteen and was the following year appointed professor of theory and composition at the College of the Pacific in San Jose, California. After serving three years in this capacity, Mr. Hanson was promoted at the age of twenty-two to the position of Dean of the Conservatory of Fine Arts, which position he held until 1921. During these years many of his smaller orchestral works were written, including the score of the California Forest Play of 1920.

In 1921, Hanson was awarded the Prix de Rome in the competition for the fellowship in the American Academy in Rome. Leaving California, he took up his residence in Rome where he remained for three years, returning to America in 1924 as Director of the Eastman School of Music of the University

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