pleted his studies with Edgar Varèse
in New York. William Grant Still is numbered
among the important personalities of
the Younger American school. His
major orchestral works which are intensely racial in character have been
performed thruout the world. Strongly
melodic, his music throbs with emotion.
When the Afro-American Symphony
was performed in Germany (it was
given eminently successful performances
in Berlin, Leipzig, and Stuttgart) it was
considered by critics the most characteristically indigenous music to have come
from this country. In this, and other,
major compositions, Still--unlike so
many other American composers--is not
interested in experiments with tonalities
or sonorities. He is merely interested
in giving expression to the gamut of his
experiences in tones, and he does this
with great sincerity and often with
poignancy."In composing," he informs us
further about himself, "I often use
material that I have had in my notebook
for a number of years. Just as often I
rely on inspiration for the material
needed. In the latter instances I seek
first of all special attunement with the
cosmic forces, for I believe that inspiration comes to man from Divine sources."My musical tastes are quite varied
altho I am inclined to prefer those composers whose trend is modern. Wagner
has undoubtedly influenced me more
than any other composer."My favorite diversion (there are
some who would not call it a diversion)
is the study of life with a view to learning that which will enable me to make
my life more serviceable to mankind.
I prefer at all times to be inconspicuous. My intimate friends accuse me of
being too modest, but they do not know
what I suffer when forced to arise and
bow at a performance, or when it becomes necessary to accept praise in person."My most characteristic trait seems
to be my utter inability to retain names
in my memory."In 1933, William Grant Still was
awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship,
enabling him to go abroad and devote
himself to serious composition.Principal works by William Grant
|ORCHESTRA : Afro-American Symphony; Africa; Darker America; A Deserted Plantation; From the Journal of a Wanderer; Ebon
|BALLET : Sahdji; La Guiablesse; The Sorcerer.|
About William Grant Still:
Musical America 51:13 June 1931.
Albert Stoessel 1894-
ALBERT STOESSEL was born in St. Louis on October 11, 1894.
After acquiring his early musical training from local instructors he became a
student at the Royal High School of Berlin, specializing in the playing of the
violin. Upon graduating--he had just
reached his sixteenth birthday--he made
his debut as concert violinist in Berlin
by playing three violin concertos in one
evening. He returned to America in 1915 and made several successful appearances as assisting artist with Enrico
Caruso, and as soloist with the St. Louis
When the War broke out he was
back in Berlin where he was teaching
the violin. One of his pupils at this
time was an American girl, and the war
feeling brought the two so closely together that they escaped out of Ger____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Composers of Today:A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations.
Contributors: David Ewen - Editor, David Ewen - Compiler.
Publisher: H. W. Wilson.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1934.
Page number: 259.
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