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Died – Demise – Obituary : Ned Rorem, prize-winning composer and author, dies at 99



Died – Demise – Obituary

Ned Rorem, prize-winning composer and author, dies at 99

Ned Rorem, the prolific Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning musician recognized for his huge output of compositions and for his barbed and typically scandalous prose, died Friday at 99.

The information was confirmed by a publicist for his longtime music writer, Boosey & Hawkes, who mentioned he died of pure causes at his house on Manhattan’s Higher West Facet.

The good-looking, energetic artist produced a thousand-work catalog starting from symphonies and operas to solo instrumental, chamber and vocal music, along with 16 books. He additionally contributed to the rating for the Al Pacino-starring movie “The Panic in Needle Park.”

Time journal as soon as referred to as Rorem “the world’s greatest composer of artwork songs,” and he was notable for his a whole bunch of compositions for the solo human voice. The poet and librettist J.D. McClatchy, writing within the Paris Evaluation, described him as “an untortured artist and dashing narcissist.”

His music was largely tonal, although very a lot trendy, and Rorem didn’t hesitate to goal his printed phrases at different outstanding contemporaries who espoused the dissonant avant-garde, like Pierre Boulez.

“If Russia had Stalin and Germany had Hitler, France nonetheless has Pierre Boulez,” Rorem as soon as wrote.

He had a fundamental motto for songwriting: “Write gracefully for the voice — that’s, make the voice line as seen on paper have the arched circulation which singers prefer to interpret.”

Rorem gained the 1976 Pulitzer for his “Air Music: Ten Etudes for Orchestra.” The 1989 Grammy for excellent orchestral recording went to the Atlanta Symphony for Rorem’s “String Symphony, Sunday Morning, and Eagles.”

His 1962 “Poems of Love and the Rain” is a 17-song cycle set to texts by American poets; the identical textual content is about twice, in a contrasting approach.

Born in Richmond, Ind., Rorem was the son of C. Rufus Rorem, whose concepts within the Thirties have been the premise for the Blue Cross and Blue Defend insurance policy and who turned to Quaker philosophy, elevating his son as a pacifist.

The youthful Rorem went to day faculty on the elite College of Chicago Laboratory Faculties. By the point he was 10, his piano trainer launched him to Debussy and Ravel, which “modified my life endlessly,” mentioned the composer whose music was tinged with French lyricism.

He went on to check on the American Conservatory of Music in Hammond, Ind., and Northwestern College in Evanston, Sick., then the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Juilliard College in New York.

As a younger composer within the Nineteen Fifties, he lived overseas for eight years, largely in Paris however with two years in Morocco.

“The Paris Diary” covers his keep there and is full of well-known names of individuals he met — Jean Cocteau, Francis Poulenc, Balthus, Salvador Dali, Paul Bowles, John Cage, Man Ray, and James Baldwin. The late author Janet Flanner referred to as it “worldly, clever, licentious, extremely indiscreet.” Rorem himself mentioned his textual content was “full of drunkenness, intercourse, and the speak of my betters.”

His literary self-portrait continued, contained in “The New York Diary,” “The Later Diaries” and “The Nantucket Diary.”

“His essays are composed like scores,” McClatchy as soon as wrote of him. “The identical hallmarks we hear for in Rorem’s music shall be present in his essays as effectively: indirection, instinctive grace, mental aplomb, a lyrical line.”

Some have been appalled by Rorem’s infamous accounting of his relationships with 4 big-name males in music: Leonard Bernstein, Noel Coward, Samuel Barber and Virgil Thomson. He additionally outed a couple of others.

However most of his personal life was centered round James Holmes, an organist and choir director with whom he lived for 3 many years in New York Metropolis. Holmes died in 1999. An announcement from Boosey & Hawkes mentioned Rorem died surrounded by family and friends and is survived by six nieces and nephews and 11 grandnieces and grandnephews.

Drawing on his upbringing, Rorem based mostly his “Quaker Reader” — a set of items for organ — on Quaker texts.

As for his non-musical writings, he mentioned: “My music is a diary no much less compromising than my prose. A diary however differs from a musical composition in that it depicts the second, the author’s current temper which, have been it inscribed an hour later, may emerge fairly in any other case.”

Rorem’s essays on music seem in anthologies titled “Setting the Tone,” “Music from the Inside Out,” and “Music and Folks.”

“Why do I write music?” he as soon as requested. “As a result of I wish to hear it — it’s so simple as that.”

Ned Rorem, prize-winning composer and author, dies at 99

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