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Bolcom, William (Elden)

univ composition music prof

Bolcom, William (Elden), prominent American composer, pianist, and teacher; b. Seattle, May 26, 1938. He studied at the Univ. of Washington in Seattle with George Frederick McKay and John Verrall (B.A., 1958), took a course in composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif. (M.A., 1961), and attended classes in advanced composition with Leland Smith at Stanford Univ. (D.M.A., 1964). He also studied at the Paris Cons, with Milhaud and Jean Rivier (1959–61; 1965–66; 2 nd prix in composition, 1965). In 1964–65 and 1968–69 he held Guggenheim fellowships. He taught at the Univ. of Washington in Seattle (1965–66) and at Queens Coll. of the City Univ. of N.Y. (1966–68). In 1969–70 he served as composer-in- residence at the N.Y. Univ. School of the Arts. In 1973 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Mich, as an asst. prof., subsequently serving there as an assoc. prof. (1977–83), prof. (1983–94), the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished Univ. Prof, of Music in Composition (from 1994), and as chairman of the composition dept. (from 1998). He was composer-in-residence of the Detroit Sym. Orch. (1987–88), Ithaca Coll. (1990–91), and the N.Y. Phil. (1995). In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his 12 New Etudes for Piano, and in 1993 he was elected a member of the American Academy and Inst. of Arts and Letters. He is also active as a pianist, recording and giving recitals of ragtime works. In 1975 he married Joan Morris, with whom he appears in concerts and with whom he has recorded some 20 albums. He publ., with Robert Kim-ball, a book on the black American songwriting and musical comedy team of Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake (N.Y., 1973; reissued, 1999). He also ed. the collected essays of George Rochberg under the title The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer’s View of Twentieth-Century Music (Ann Arbor, 1984). Bolcom’s thorough knowledge and appreciation of the music of America, both past and present, has been an important factor in his own development as a composer. His diverse output utilizes styles ranging from romantic to modern, including elements of such popular genres as country and rock.

Bolden, Buddy(1877–1931) - Jazz musician, bandleader, Chronology, Bolden’s Illness [next] [back] Boksenberg, Alexander

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