Pulitzer Prize Winning Musician and Former Child Prodigy Teaches at City College
David Del Tredici
David Del Tredici is a renowned Pulitzer prize winning composer who has been commissioned and performed by most major American and European orchestral ensembles, and is generally recognized as the father of the Neo-Romantic movement in music.
Born on March 16, 1937 in Cloverdale, California, Mr. Del Tredici was a child piano prodigy who gave his professional debut at 17 with the San Francisco Symphony. In his formal training, he earned degrees at the University of California (Berkeley) and Princeton University.
Over the course of his compositional life, Mr. Del Tredici has moved from mid-20th-century serialism, exemplified by his elaborate vocal settings of works of James Joyce viz. I Hear an Army; Night Conjure-Verse; Syzygy, to an individualistic musical language re-embracing tonality.
The breakthrough came with his unique series of “Alice” works, based on stories and poetry of Lewis Carroll and written for amplified soprano and large orchestra. Final Alice, Child Alice, Pop-Pourri and Adventures Underground, are a few examples.
Mr. Del Tredici has more recently set to music a cavalcade of contemporary American poets, producing a number of song cycles, such as Miz Inez Sez, Chana’s Story, Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and On Wings of Song, as well as several works celebrating a gay sensibility. Gay Life, Wondrous the Merge and Three Baritone Songs are three examples of the latter. Out Magazine has twice named the composer one of its people of the year.
Over the past several years Del Tredici has ventured into the more intimate realm of chamber music with String Quartet No. 1, Grand Trio, brought to life by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and a large number of solo-piano works: Gotham Glory, Three Gymnopedies, Ballad in Yellow, Opposites Attract, Wedding Song and Wildwood Etude.
In May 2005, Robert Spano conducted the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus in premiering Paul Revere’s Ride which isan impassioned work inspired by Del Tredici’s 9/11 experience. Recorded by Telarc, it became a Grammy Award nominee for Best New Classical Composition of 2006. November 2005 brought the premiere of the melodrama Rip Van Winkle with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and narrated by world-famous Broadway actor Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Besides the recent Telarc CD, Mr. Del Tredici’s new releases include an all-Del Tredici CD on Deutsche Grammophon and In Wartime, a spectacular new work for concert band on the Dorian label. Among past recordings were two best-sellers, Final Alice and In Memory of a Summer Day which isthe work that won Del Tredici the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.
Mr. Del Tredici had an explosion of newly-commissioned works commemorating his most recent birthday: Love Addiction (a baritone/piano song-cycle on poems by John Kelly), Magyar Madness (for clarinet and string quartet), Queer Hosannas (for male chorus and piano) and S/M Ballade (for piano).
Mr. Del Tredici previously taught at Harvard University, Boston University and the Juilliard School, and he is currently Distinguished Professor of Music at The City College of New York. He and his life-partner, Ray Warman, live in Greenwich Village.
For a fuller biography visit Professor Del Tredici's website.
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