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Bacon, Emst

univ chicago publ piano

Bacon, Emst, remarkable American composer; b. Chicago, May 26, 1898; d. Orinda, Calif., March 16, 1990. He studied theory at Northwestern Univ. with Lutkin (1915–18), and later at the Univ. of Chicago with Oldberg and T. Otterstroem (1919–20); also took private piano lessons in Chicago with Alexander Raab (1916–21). In 1924 he went to Vienna, where he took private composition lessons with Weigl and Schmidt. Returning to America, he studied composition with Bloch in San Francisco, and conducting with Goossens in Rochester, N.Y.; completed his education at the Univ. of Calif. (M.A., 1935). From 1934 to 1937 he was supervisor of the Federal Music Project in San Francisco; simultaneously deployed numerous related activities, as a conductor and a music critic. He was on the faculty of Converse Coll. in S.C. (1938–45) and Syracuse Univ. (1945–63). In 1939 and 1942 he held Guggenheim fellowships. He also engaged in literary pursuits—wrote poetry and publ. a book of aphorisms—and espoused radical politics. A musician of exceptional inventive powers, he publ.0 a brochure, Our Musical Idiom (Chicago, 1917), when he was 19; in it he outlines the new resources of musical composition. He later publ. Words on Music (1960) and Notes on the Piano (1963). In some of his piano works, he evolved a beguiling technique of mirror reflection between right and left hands, exact as to the intervals, with white and black keys in one hand reflected respectively by white and black keys in the other. However, Bacon is generally regarded as primarily a composer of lyric songs.

Bacon, Francis (1561–1626) - BIOGRAPHY, CRITICAL RECEPTION [next] [back] Backstairs at the White House

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