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

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
he delivered a series of lectures on "Musical Systems of the World" at the New School for Social Research. Henry Cowell, who lives in California, is absorbed by musical activities other than composing. He is the publisher of New Music--a publication which issues quarterly new music of modern composers. He is the director of the North American section of the Pan-American Association of Composers, which organizes concerts of modern music in the principal cities thruout the world. He is also the founder and director of the New Music Society which offers programs of modern music each year in San Francisco. Altho his innumerable activities on behalf of modern music devour all of his time, he still can find hours in which to pursue his favorite diversions. He loves camping and mountain-climbing, to which he looks forward at each vacation. In the city, he finds relaxation and pleasure in tennis and bridge.In music, his preferences are strangely varied. Among the composers of yesterday, he can find appreciation only for Bach. He is also vibrantly interested in primitive and Oriental music. His intense fascination with modern music, however, makes it possible for him to admire every composer--irrespective of style or school--who is doing original and fresh work; needless to say, his greatest interest of all lies with modern American music.As a composer, he has no special method of creating his highly original music. "Perhaps my method can be made clear by saying what I do not do in producing my music," he writes. "I do not compose according to any set scheme. I do not compose while either in an emotional or intellectual fever. I do not follow any formula, nor do I give myself to an improvisational, unformed wandering. I do not try to follow the style of any other composer, old or new."Principal works by Henry Cowell:
ORCHESTRA : Synchrony; Two Appositions; Reel; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Suite for Chamber and Orchestra; Six Casual Developments; Ostinato Pianissimo; Exultation; Sinfonietta.
CHAMBER MUSIC : Quartet Pedantic; Quartet; Paragraphs for Violin, Viola; 'Cello; Ensemble for String Quintet and Thunderstick; Ensemble for Eight Woodwinds.
Compositions for piano, etc.

About Henry Cowell:

Cowell, Henry. American Composers on American Music; Howard J. T. Our American Music.


Sir Frederic H. Cowen 1852-

SIR FREDERIC HYMEN COWEN was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on January 29, 1852. At the age of four he was brought to England where he began musical studies under Henry Russell. His talent for music manifested itself from the very first. At the age of six, he published a waltz; and two years later, he completed an operetta, Garibaldi, to a text written by his sister, aged seventeen. His musical studies continued under Goss and Benedict, and young Frederic made such rapid strides that, in 1863, he gave a piano recital at Her Majesty's Theatre. The following year he performed Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in D- Minor at a concert at which Josef Joachim also appeared. At an age when most music students first begin to acquire a pliancy and technical ease in playing the piano, Frederic was already an accomplished concert-artist.

"Master Frederic Cowen is a mere child," commented the Daily Telegraph, after these early appearances, "but in all of his performances he displays musician-like feeling no less than mechanical aptitude. His tone is full, his touch firm and decided, and there is nothing careless or slovenly to be detected in his execution."

In 1865, Cowen entered the Leipzig Conservatory for further intensive study under Moscheles, Richter and Reinecke, at the same time acquiring an intimate knowledge of musical literature by playing in string-quartets. The Prussian- Austrian War interrupted his studies and, returning to England, Cowen heard the first performance of one of his larger compositions, an overture played at Mellon's Promenade Concerts at

____________________
Cowen: Cow'ěn

-53-

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

Table of contents

  • Books of the Same Author ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Key to Pronunciations xiv
  • Joseph Achron 1886- 1
  • George Antheil 1900- 3
  • Kurt Atterberg 1887- 4
  • Louis Aubert 1877- 6
  • Georges Auric 1899- 7
  • Granville Bantock 1868- 8
  • Béla Bartók 1881- 10
  • Arnold Bax 1883- 15
  • Robert Russell Bennett 1894- 16
  • Lord Berners 1883. 20
  • Julius Bittner 1874- 22
  • Arthur Bliss 1891- 23
  • Marc Blitzstein 1905- 24
  • Ernest Bloch 1880- 25
  • Rutland Boughton 1878- 26
  • Walter Braunfels 1882- 29
  • Frank Bridge 1879- 31
  • Alfred Bruneau 1857-1934 32
  • Charles Wakefield Cadman 1881- 35
  • Alfredo Casella 1883- 36
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco 1895- 38
  • Juan José Castro 1895- 40
  • Gustave Charpentier 1860. 41
  • Frederick Shepherd Converse 1871- 46
  • Henry Cowell 1897- 49
  • Sir Frederic H. Cowen 1852- 51
  • Sir Walford Davies 1869- 53
  • Claude Debussy 1862-1918 55
  • Frederick Delius 1863-1934 56
  • Ernst Von Dohnányi 1877. 60
  • Arcady Dubensky 1890- 62
  • Paul Dukas 1865- 64
  • Paul Dupin 1865- 67
  • Georges Enesco 1881- 68
  • Manuel De Falla .1876- 70
  • Gabriel Fauré 1845-1924 72
  • Henri Gagnebin 1886- 79
  • Philippe Gaubert 1879- 80
  • George Gershwin 1898- 80
  • Umberto Giordano 1867- 82
  • Alexander Glazunov 1865- 84
  • Reinhold Glière 1874- 86
  • Michael Gniessin 1883- 90
  • Paul Graener 1872- 91
  • Percy Grainger 1882- 93
  • Alexander Gretchaninoff 1864- 94
  • Louis Gruenberg 1883- 96
  • Alois Hába 1893- 98
  • Henry Hadley 1871- 99
  • Reynaldo Hahn 1874- 101
  • Howard Hanson 1896- 103
  • Sandor Harmati 1892- 104
  • Roy Harris 1898- 106
  • Edward Burlingame Hill 1872- 110
  • Paul Hindemith 1895- 112
  • Gustav Holst 1874-1934 115
  • Arthur Honegger 1892- 117
  • Herbert Howells 1892- 119
  • Jacques Ibert 1890- 120
  • Vincent D'Indy 1851-1931 122
  • Michael Ippolitov-Ivanov 1859- 123
  • John Ireland 1879- 125
  • Frederick Jacobi 1891- 128
  • Leoš Janáček 1854-1928 130
  • Werner Janssen 1900- 131
  • Joseph Jongen 1873. 133
  • Werner Josten 1888- 134
  • Paul Juon 1872- 135
  • Heinrich Kaminski 1886- 136
  • Wilhelm Kienzl 1857- 139
  • Lyof Knipper 1898- 140
  • Zoltan Kodály 1882- 141
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1897- 142
  • A. Walter Kramer 1890- 147
  • Alexander Kreyn 1883- 148
  • Ladislas Lajtha 1892- 151
  • Constant Lambert 1905- 151
  • Charles Martin Loeffler 1861- 152
  • Nikolai Lopatnikoff 1903- 153
  • Igor Markevitch 1912- 157
  • Frank Martin 1890- 159
  • Bohuslav Martinu 1890- 161
  • Joseph Marx 1882- 162
  • Pietro Mascagni 1863- 164
  • Daniel Gregory Mason 1873- 165
  • Nikolai Medtner 1880- 167
  • Nikolai Miaskovsky 1881- 168
  • Georges Migot 1891- 170
  • Darius Milhaud 1892- 171
  • Italo Montemezzi 1875- 175
  • Harold Morris 1890- 176
  • Alexander Mossolov 1900- 177
  • Leo Ornstein 1895- 179
  • Ignace Jan Paderewski 1860- 181
  • Hans Pfitzner 1869- 185
  • Willem Pijper 1894- 189
  • Paul Pisk 1893- 191
  • Walter Piston 1894- 192
  • Ildebrando Pizzetti 1880- 193
  • Francis Poulenc 1899- 194
  • John Powell 1882- 196
  • Serge Prokofieff 1891- 198
  • Henri Rabaud 1873- 199
  • Serge Rachmaninoff 1873- 201
  • Maurice Ravel 1875- 205
  • Rhené-Baton 1879- 210
  • Wallingford Riegger 1885. 212
  • Vittorio Rieti 1898- 213
  • Roger-Ducasse 1875- 215
  • Dane Rudhyar 1895- 218
  • Carl Ruggles 1876- 220
  • Victor De Sabata 1892- 221
  • Lazare Saminsky 1882- 224
  • Ernest Schelling 1876- 226
  • Joseph Schillinger 1895- 228
  • Max Von Schillings 1868-1933 230
  • Florent Schmitt 1870. 232
  • Arnold Schönberg 1874- 234
  • Cyril Scott 1879- 238
  • Alexander Scriabin 1871-1915 240
  • Bernhard Sekles 1872- 242
  • Roger Sessions 1896- 245
  • Dmitri Shostakowitch 1906- 246
  • Christian Sinding 249
  • Leone Sinigaglia 1868- 252
  • David Stanley Smith 1877­ 253
  • Leo Sowerby 1895- 255
  • William Grant Still 1895- 256
  • Albert Stoessel 1894- 258
  • Richard Strauss 1864- 259
  • Igor Stravinsky 1882- 260
  • Edwin J. Stringham 1890- 268
  • Alexander Tansman 1897- 270
  • Deems Taylor 1885- 271
  • Alexander Tcherepnine 1899- 273
  • Nikolai Tcherepnine 1873- 275
  • Virgil Thomson 1896- 276
  • Ernest Toch 1887- 278
  • Vincenzo Tommasini 1880- 279
  • Joaquin Turina 1882. 281
  • Edgar Varèse 1885- 283
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams 1872- 284
  • Hector Villa-Lobos 1886- 286
  • H. Waldo-Warner 1874- 288
  • William Walton 1902- 290
  • Anton Webern 1883- 291
  • Kurt Weill 1900- 292
  • Jaromir Weinberger 1896- 295
  • Leo Weiner 1885- 296
  • Adolph Weiss 1891- 298
  • Egon Wellesz 1885- 300
  • Alexander Weprik .1899- 301
  • Riccardo Zandonai 1883- 305
  • Bibliography of Modern Music 309
  • Index 313
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