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John Corigliano

John Corigliano

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John Corigliano is an American composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 of classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and a teacher of music. He is a distinguished professor of music at Lehman College
Lehman College
Lehman College is one of the constituent colleges of the City University of New York, USA. Founded in 1931 as the Bronx campus of Hunter College, the school became an independent college within the City University in 1968. The college is named after Herbert Lehman, a former New York governor,...

 in the City University of New York
City University of New York
The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, with its administrative offices in Yorkville in Manhattan. It is the largest urban university in the United States, consisting of 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E...

.

Biography


Italian American Corigliano was born to a musical family. His father, John Corigliano Sr., was concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

 for 23 years, and his mother, Rose Buzen, is an accomplished educator and pianist. He is a former student of Otto Luening
Otto Luening
Otto Clarence Luening was a German-American composer and conductor, and an early pioneer of tape music and electronic music....

, Vittorio Giannini
Vittorio Giannini
Vittorio Giannini was a neoromantic American composer of operas, songs, symphonies, and band works.-Life and work:...

 and Paul Creston
Paul Creston
Paul Creston was an Italian American composer of classical music.Born in New York City to Sicilian immigrants, Creston was self‐taught as a composer. He was an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, initiated into the national honorary Alpha Alpha chapter...

. Corigliano attended P.S. 241 in Brooklyn and graduated in June 1951. He studied composition at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 (BA 1959) and at the Manhattan School of Music
Manhattan School of Music
The Manhattan School of Music is a major music conservatory located on the Upper West Side of New York City. The school offers degrees on the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels in the areas of classical and jazz performance and composition...

. Before achieving success as composer, Corigliano worked as assistant to the producer on the Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

 Young People's Concerts
Young People's Concerts
The Young People's Concerts at the New York Philharmonic are the longest-running series of family concerts of classical music in the world.-Genesis:...

, and as a session producer for classical artists such as André Watts
André Watts
André Watts is a classical pianist and professor at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University.-Life and early performances:...

.

Most of Corigliano's work has been for symphony orchestra
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

. He employs a wide variety of styles, sometimes even within the same work, but aims to make his work accessible to a relatively large audience. He has written symphonies
Symphony
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

, as well as works for string orchestra
String orchestra
A string orchestra is an orchestra composed solely or primarily of instruments from the string family. These instruments are the violin, the viola, the cello, the double bass , the piano, the harp, and sometimes percussion...

, and wind band. Additionally, Corigliano has written concerti for clarinet, flute, violin, oboe, and piano; film scores; various chamber
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 and solo instrument works, and the opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, The Ghosts of Versailles
The Ghosts of Versailles
The Ghosts of Versailles is an opera in two acts, with music by John Corigliano to an English libretto by William M. Hoffman. The Metropolitan Opera had commissioned the work from Corigliano in 1980 in celebration of its 100th anniversary, with the premiere scheduled for 1983...

, which enjoyed a success at the premiere.

The younger Corigliano first came to prominence in 1964 when, at the age of 26, his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1963) was the only winner of the chamber-music competition of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy. Support from Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current...

, and the Guggenheim Foundation
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was founded in 1925 by Mr. and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim in memory of their son, who died April 26, 1922...

 followed, as did important commissions. For the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

 he composed his Vocalise (1999), Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (1977) and Fantasia on an Ostinato (1986); for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he wrote Poem in October (1970); for the New York State Council on the Arts he composed the Oboe Concerto (1975); for flutist James Galway
James Galway
- External links : IMGArtists.com 15 September 2008. AllAboutJazz.com 5 August 2008.*...

 he composed his Promenade Overture (1981), as well as the Symphony No. 2 (2001); the National Symphony Orchestra commissioned the evening-length A Dylan Thomas Trilogy (1960, rev. 1999). He also composed Chiaroscuro
Chiaroscuro
Chiaroscuro in art is "an Italian term which literally means 'light-dark'. In paintings the description refers to clear tonal contrasts which are often used to suggest the volume and modelling of the subjects depicted"....

 [Listen here], for two pianos tuned a quarter tone apart for The Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation
The Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation
The Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation is a Classical Music organization based in Miami, Florida.Throughout the years, its mission was to introduce, to educate and to invite the widest possible audience to the world of music, with special emphasis on four-hand chamber music for piano...

.

In 1991 he was awarded the Grawemeyer Award
Grawemeyer Award
The Grawemeyer Awards are five awards given annually by the University of Louisville in the state of Kentucky, United States. The prizes are presented to individuals in the fields of education, ideas improving world order, music composition, religion, and psychology...

 for his Symphony No. 1 (1991) which was inspired by the AIDS crisis. In 2001 he received the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Music
The Pulitzer Prize for Music was first awarded in 1943. Joseph Pulitzer did not call for such a prize in his will, but had arranged for a music scholarship to be awarded each year...

 for his Symphony No. 2 (2001). Corigliano composed dramatic scores for the 1980 film Altered States
Altered States
Altered States is a 1980 American science fiction-horror film adaptation of a novel by the same name by playwright and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky. It was the only novel that Chayefsky ever wrote, as well as his final film. Both the novel and the film are based on John C...

, the 1985 film Revolution
Revolution (1985 film)
Revolution is a 1985 film directed by Hugh Hudson, written by Robert Dillon and starring Al Pacino, Helen Porter, Donald Sutherland, Nastassja Kinski, Joan Plowright, Dave King, Annie Lennox, Danny Turner, Steven Berkoff, Graham Greene, and Robbie Coltrane....

and Francois Girard's 1997 film, The Red Violin
The Red Violin
The Red Violin is a 1998 Canadian drama film directed by François Girard. It spans three centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious violin and its many owners...

. The award-winning score for Revolution is one of Corigliano's most impressive creations although it is less known, as it was never released in any recorded format; it has existed in a bootleg form until Varese Sarabande officially released the score for a limited time in December 2009 through their CD club, which will be released in stores as a regular release later in 2010. Corigliano did, however, export portions of the score for use in his first symphony. Portions of the score to The Red Violin
The Red Violin
The Red Violin is a 1998 Canadian drama film directed by François Girard. It spans three centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious violin and its many owners...

were also used in his Violin Concerto (2003). In 1970 Corigliano teamed up with David Hess
David Hess
David Alexander Hess was an American actor, singer, and songwriter.-Music career:In 1956, Hess recorded the original version of the Otis Blackwell composition "All Shook Up" under the stage name David Hill...

 to create The Naked Carmen
The Naked Carmen
The Naked Carmen is a 1970 recording by David Hess and John Corigliano. It is described as an "electric rock opera" by the creators.-External links:*...

. In a recent communication with David Hess
David Hess
David Alexander Hess was an American actor, singer, and songwriter.-Music career:In 1956, Hess recorded the original version of the Otis Blackwell composition "All Shook Up" under the stage name David Hill...

, Hess acknowledged that The Naked Carmen was originally conceived by Corigliano and himself as a way to update the most popular opera of our time referring to Bizet's Carmen
Carmen
Carmen is a French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, first published in 1845, itself possibly influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin...

. Mercury Records wanted the classical and popular divisions to work together and after a meeting with Joe Bott, Scott Mampe and Bob Reno it was decided to proceed with the project. In Hess's own words, the project was "a collective decision."

Among Corigliano's students are David S. Sampson
David S. Sampson
David Sampson is a prolific composer and trumpet player currently living in New Jersey. He is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Colonial Symphony Orchestra and plays with them as well....

, Eric Whitacre
Eric Whitacre
Eric Whitacre is an American composer, conductor and lecturer. He is one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. In 2008, the all-Whitacre choral CD Cloudburst became an international best-seller, topping the classical charts and earning a Grammy nomination...

, Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal is an American composer of contemporary classical music. He was a student of Aaron Copland and John Corigliano, and is best known for his distinctive style and ability to blend various musical styles and techniques in original and inventive ways...

, Edward Knight
Edward Knight (composer)
Edward Knight is an American composer. His work eschews easy classification, moving freely between jazz, theatrical and concert worlds.-Background:...

, Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly is a contemporary classical music composer, who has worked and recorded with classical and pop/rock musicians. He currently lives in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan in New York City.-Early years:...

, Scott Glasgow
Scott Glasgow
Scott Glasgow is a Hollywood-based musical composer. He earned his Bachelor of Music from California State University, Northridge and his Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2001 where he was a student of Conrad Susa. Scott studied with John Corigliano at the Aspen Music...

, John Mackey
John Mackey (composer)
John Mackey is an American composer of classical music, with an emphasis on music for wind band, as well as orchestra. For several years, he focused on music for modern dance and ballet.-Background:...

, Avner Dorman
Avner Dorman
Avner Dorman is an Israeli born composer of contemporary classical music.- Biography :Avner Dorman holds a Doctorate in Music Composition from the Juilliard School where he studied as a C.V. Starr fellow with John Corigliano...

, Mason Bates
Mason Bates
Mason Bates is an American composer of symphonic music. Distinguished by his innovations in orchestration and large-scale form, Bates is best known for his expansion of the orchestra to include electronics...

, Steven Bryant, Jefferson Friedman, Dinuk Wijeratne and David Ludwig
David Ludwig (Composer)
- Biography :David Ludwig is a descendant of many generations of musicians. His uncle is pianist Peter Serkin, his grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin and his great-grandfather, the violinist Adolf Busch....

. In 1996, The Corigliano Quartet
Corigliano Quartet
The Corigliano Quartet is a classical music string quartet founded in 1996 with the blessing of the Pulitzer-, Grammy-, and Oscar-winning John Corigliano. "They are truly one of the great quartets of the new generation," said the composer...

 was founded, taking his name in tribute.
Corigliano, who is openly gay, lives with his companion, composer Mark Adamo
Mark Adamo
Mark Adamo is an Italian American composer and librettist born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While he has composed the symphonic cantata "Late Victorians, "Four Angels: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra," and six substantial choral works, the composer’s principal work has been for the opera house:...

 in New York City.

Awards

  • BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award

1986 Revolution
Revolution (1985 film)
Revolution is a 1985 film directed by Hugh Hudson, written by Robert Dillon and starring Al Pacino, Helen Porter, Donald Sutherland, Nastassja Kinski, Joan Plowright, Dave King, Annie Lennox, Danny Turner, Steven Berkoff, Graham Greene, and Robbie Coltrane....

  • Grawemeyer Award
    Grawemeyer Award
    The Grawemeyer Awards are five awards given annually by the University of Louisville in the state of Kentucky, United States. The prizes are presented to individuals in the fields of education, ideas improving world order, music composition, religion, and psychology...


1991 Symphony No. 1
Symphony No. 1 (Corigliano)
John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 for Orchestra was written between 1988 and 1989 during the composer’s tenure as the Composer-In-Residence at the Chicago Symphony...

  • Academy Award for Original Music Score
    Academy Award for Original Music Score
    The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...


1999 The Red Violin
The Red Violin
The Red Violin is a 1998 Canadian drama film directed by François Girard. It spans three centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious violin and its many owners...

  • Pulitzer Prize for Music
    Pulitzer Prize for Music
    The Pulitzer Prize for Music was first awarded in 1943. Joseph Pulitzer did not call for such a prize in his will, but had arranged for a music scholarship to be awarded each year...


2001 Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 2 (Corigliano)
John Corigliano's Symphony No. 2 for Orchestra was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Symphony Hall...

  • Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition
    Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition
    The Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition was first awarded in 1961. This award was not presented from 1967 to 1984.The award has had several minor name changes:...


2009 Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan

Listening


External links