Overview

Walter Piston

(1894—1976)


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(b Rockland, Maine, 1894; d Belmont, Mass., 1976).

Amer. composer. Began career as architectural draughtsman and after First World War played sax. in dance halls and restaurants. Joined mus. faculty at Harvard 1926, becoming prof. of mus. 1944–60. Boston SO gave f.ps. of 11 of his works between 1927 and 1971. Author of 3 important textbooks, Harmony (1941), Counterpoint (1947), Orchestration (1955). His pupils incl. Bernstein and Carter. Prin. works:

orch.:

Concerto for Orchestra

(1933); syms.: No.1 (1937), No.2 (1943), No.3 (1948), No.4 (1951), No.5 (1956), No.6 (1955), No.7 (1960), No.8 (1965);

Sinfonietta

(1941); vn. conc. No.1 (1939), No.2 (1960); pf. concertino (1937);

Symphonic Suite

(1948); va. conc. (1957); double pf. conc. (1959);

3 New England Sketches

(1959);

Variations

for vc. and orch. (1967); cl. conc. (1967);

Ricercare

(1968);

Fantasia

, vn. and orch. (1970); fl. conc. (1971); conc. for str. qt., woodwind, perc. (1976).

ballet:

The Incredible Flutist

(1938), also orch. suite (1938).

chamber music:

fl. sonata (1930); ob. suite (1931); str. qts., No.1 (1933), No.2 (1935), No.3 (1947), No.4 (1951), No.5 (1962); pf. trio No.1 (1935), No.2 (1966); vn. sonata (1939); fl. quintet (1942); pf. quintet (1949); wind quintet (1956); str. sextet (1964); pf. qt. (1964);

Duo

, vc., pf. (1976).

Subjects: Music.


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