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Donald Martino

Donald Martino

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Donald Martino was a Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 winning American composer.

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey
Plainfield, New Jersey
Plainfield is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population increased to a record high of 49,808....

, Martino studied composition with Ernst Bacon
Ernst Bacon
Ernst Lecher Bacon was an American composer, pianist, and conductor. A prolific author, Bacon composed over 250 songs over his career. He was awarded three Guggenheim Fellowships and a Pulitzer Scholarship in 1932 for his Second Symphony.-Biography:Ernst Bacon was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May...

, Roger Sessions
Roger Sessions
Roger Huntington Sessions was an American composer, critic, and teacher of music.-Life:Sessions was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a family that could trace its roots back to the American revolution. His mother, Ruth Huntington Sessions, was a direct descendent of Samuel Huntington, a signer of...

, Milton Babbitt
Milton Babbitt
Milton Byron Babbitt was an American composer, music theorist, and teacher. He is particularly noted for his serial and electronic music.-Biography:...

, and Luigi Dallapiccola
Luigi Dallapiccola
Luigi Dallapiccola was an Italian composer known for his lyrical twelve-tone compositions.-Biography:Dallapiccola was born at Pisino d'Istria , to Italian parents....

. Most of his mature works (including pseudo-tonal works such as Paradiso Choruses and Seven Pious Pieces) were composed using the twelve-tone method; his sound world more closely resembled the lyrical Dallapiccola's than his other teachers'.

The pianist Easley Blackwood
Easley Blackwood Jr.
Easley Blackwood, , is a professor of music, a concert pianist, a composer of music, some using unusual tunings, and the author of books on music theory, including his research into the properties of microtonal tunings and traditional harmony.Blackwood was born in Indianapolis, Indiana...

 commissioned Martino's sonata Pianississimo, explicitly requesting that it be one of the most difficult pieces ever written. The resulting work is indeed of epic difficulty, but has been recorded several times. (Blackwood declined to perform it.)

Martino presented Milton Babbitt
Milton Babbitt
Milton Byron Babbitt was an American composer, music theorist, and teacher. He is particularly noted for his serial and electronic music.-Biography:...

 with at least two musical birthday cards: B,a,b,b,it,t on his 50th birthday and Triple Concerto on his 60th.

Martino, who taught at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, the New England Conservatory of Music
New England Conservatory of Music
The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, is the oldest independent school of music in the United States.The conservatory is home each year to 750 students pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies along with 1400 more in its Preparatory School as well as the School of...

, Brandeis University
Brandeis University
Brandeis University is an American private research university with a liberal arts focus. It is located in the southwestern corner of Waltham, Massachusetts, nine miles west of Boston. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students. In 2011, it...

, and Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1974 for his chamber work Notturno.

In 1991, the journal Perspectives of New Music
Perspectives of New Music
Perspectives of New Music is a peer-reviewed, academic journal specializing in music theory and analysis. It was founded in 1962 by Arthur Berger and Benjamin Boretz , making it the second-oldest music-theory journal now published in the United States .Perspectives was a Princeton-based journal...

 published a 292-page tribute to Martino.

Martino died in Antigua
Antigua
Antigua , also known as Waladli, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la...

 in 2005. A memorial concert was held at the New England Conservatory on May 8, 2007. A recording of the concert was released by Navona Records
Navona Records
Navona Records is an American independent record label based in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire owned by PARMA Recordings. Navona's sister companies via PARMA include the Ravello, Big Round, MMC, and Capstone Records label imprints, and the label is distributed by Naxos...

in 2009.

Selected Works by Donald Martino


Many of these pieces have extensive doublings, such as flute/piccolo/alto flute.
  • String Quartet No.2 (1952)
  • Violin Sonata No.1 (1952)
  • String Quartet No.3 (1953)
  • Three Dances (1953) for viola and piano
  • A Set for Clarinet (1954) for solo clarinet
  • String Trio (1954)
  • Portraits (1955) for chorus and orchestra
  • Quartet (1957) for clarinet and string trio
  • Trio (1959) for violin, clarinet, piano
  • Fantasy Variations (1962) for violin solo
  • Concerto (1964) for wind quintet (n.b. without orchestra)
  • Piano Concerto (1965)
  • Strata (1966) for bass clarinet
  • B,a,b,b,it,t (1966) for solo clarinet with extensions
  • Mosaic (1967) for orchestra
  • Pianississimo (1970) for piano
  • Seven Pious Pieces (1971) for chorus
  • Cello Concerto (1972)
  • Notturno (1973) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano
  • Paradiso Choruses (1974) for chorus and orchestra
  • Ritorno (1975), for orchestra
  • Triple Concerto (1977) for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet and small orchestra
  • Fantasies and Impromptus (1978) for piano
  • Quodlibets II (1979) for flute solo
  • String Quartet No.4 (1983)
  • The White Island (1985) for chorus and orchestra
  • Saxophone Concerto (1986) for Alto Saxophone and orchestra
  • From the Other Side (1988) for flute, cello, percussion, and piano
  • Twelve Preludes (1991) for piano
  • Three Sad Songs (1993) for viola and piano
  • Violin Concerto (1996)
  • Serenata Concertante (1999) for flute, clarinet, flugel horn, french horn, percussion, piano, violin, violoncello
  • Romanza (2000) for violin solo
  • Sonata (2003) for violin solo
  • String Quartet No.5 (2004)
  • Trio (2004) for violin, cello, piano
  • Trio (2004) for clarinet, cello, piano
  • Concertino (2004) for clarinet and orchestra
  • Violin Sonata No.2 (2004)
  • Concerto for Orchestra (2005)

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