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Ballantine, Edward

piano prof boston variations

Ballantine, Edward, American composer and teacher; b. Oberlin, Ohio, Aug. 6, 1886; d. Oak Bluffs, Mass., July 2, 1971. He studied with Walter Spalding at Harvard Univ., graduating with highest honors in 1907; took piano courses with Schnabel and Ganz in Berlin (1907–09). In 1912 he was appointed instructor at Harvard, becoming asst. prof. in 1926, and assoc. prof. in 1932; he retired in 1947. His first publ. work was a musical play, The Lotos Eaters (1907); three of his orch. pieces were performed by the Boston Sym. Orch.: Prelude to The Delectable Forest (Dec. 10, 1914), The Eve of St. Agnes Jan. 19, 1917), and From the Garden of Hellas (Feb. 9, 1923); and one, By a Lake in Russia, by the Boston Pops (June 27, 1922). He also wrote a Violin Sonata and songs. His most striking work is a set of piano variations on Mary Had a Little Lamb (1924) in the styles of 10 composers; a second series of variations on the same tune (1943) includes stylizations of Stravinsky, Gershwin, and others.

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