THE LIVING COMPOSERS PROJECT  

David Del Tredici

(b. 16 March 1937, Cloverdale, California).

American composer of mostly orchestral, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.

Prof. Del Tredici began studying piano privately in 1949 and later studied piano privately with Bernhard Abramowitsch in Berkeley from 1953–59. He studied composition with Seymour Shifrin at the University of California, Berkeley from 1955–59, where he earned his BA. He had an important encounter with Darius Milhaud at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado in 1958 and studied composition with Earl Kim and Roger Sessions at Princeton University in 1959–60 and in 1963–64, where he earned his MFA, on the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. In addition, he studied piano privately with Robert Helps in New York, New York from 1962–64.

Among his honours are the Guggenheim Fellowship (1966), the Recording Award of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation (1972), the Pulitzer Prize for Music (1980, for In Memory of a Summer Day from Child Alice), and second place in the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award (1982). He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1984. His music has inspired ballets with choreography by Oscar Araiz in Switzerland and Glen Tetley in Canada. He is the subject of the TV documentary Video Alice (1985). He has received commissions from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Elements String Quartet, the Fromm Music Foundation, the Kalichstein–Laredo–Robinson Trio, the Koussevitzky Music Foundations, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Rockefeller Foundation, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, among other ensembles, orchestras and organisations.

Prof. Del Tredici is also active in other positions. He made his début as a pianist in San Francisco in 1954 and was among ten pianists involved in the complete première of Vexations by Erik Satie in New York, New York in 1963. He worked as a pianist at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts in 1964–65, on a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation, and served as composer-in-residence at the Marlboro Music School and Festival in Vermont in 1966–67. He later served as composer in-residence to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1988–90. He is a member of the board of directors of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and the artist colony Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York.

He taught as an associate professor at Harvard University from 1966–72 and taught at Boston University from 1973–84. He has taught at the City College of New York since 1984, where he has been Distinguished Professor of Music since 1986.

His publisher is Boosey & Hawkes.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Website: http://www.daviddeltredici.com/

SELECT LIST OF WORKS

STAGE:

Dum Dee Tweedle (opera in 1 act and 5 scenes, libretto by the composer, after Lewis Carroll), soprano, alto, tenor, bass, speaker, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1992 (also concert version of one section as Cabbages and Kings)

Brother (texts by John Kelly, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Monette, Jaime Manrique, Lewis Carroll), male voice–actor, piano, 1997 (incorporates version of Acrostic Song from Final Alice)

ORCHESTRAL:

Happy Voices, large orchestra, 1977–80, revised 1984 (section of Child Alice; may be performed separately)

Triumphant Alice (Marcia), large orchestra, 1980 (version of In Memory of a Summer Day from Child Alice)

March to Tonality, large orchestra (99 players), 1983–85

Tattoo, large orchestra, 1986

Steps, large orchestra, 1990

'Classical Action' Variation, 1997

In Wartime, symphonic band, 2002–03

Fantasy on 'Nobody Knows', 2003

Acrostic Song, symphonic band (version by Mark Spede of section of Final Alice)

CHAMBER MUSIC:

String Trio, violin, viola, cello, 1959

Acrostic Song, flute, harp/piano, 1982 (version of section of Final Alice; also version by Stephen Mercurio for guitar, 1982; version as Acrostic Paraphrase, harp, 1983)

Brass Symphony, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1992 (version of Final Alice; also shorter version as Heavy Metal Alice, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1994)

Cello Acrostic, cello, 1995

Grand Trio, violin, cello, piano, 2001

String Quartet No. 1, 2003

Magyar Madness, clarinet, string quartet, 2006

Aeolian Ballade (prelude and fugue), harp, 2007 (also version for piano)

The Felix Variations (variations on a theme by Paganini), bass trombone, 2010

String Quartet No. 2, 2010

Belgian Bliss (Fantasy on the Mendelssohn Wedding March), flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 2010

Facts of Life, guitar, 2010 (also versions of third movement, Farewell, R. W., for violin, piano, 2010; piano)

CHORAL:

The Last Gospel (text from the Book of John), amplified soprano, mixed chorus, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones [2nd + tenor saxophone], electric guitar, bass guitar), small orchestra (2 piccolos, 2 oboes, 2 English horns, 2 bassoons, 2 contrabassoons, trumpet, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass), 1967 (also version for amplified soprano, mixed chorus, ensemble [soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, electric guitar, bass guitar], large orchestra, 1984)

Pop-Pourri (text by Lewis Carroll), amplified soprano, countertenor ad libitum, mixed chorus, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones [2nd + tenor saxophone], electric guitar, bass guitar), orchestra, 1968, revised 1973

Acrostic Song (text by Lewis Carroll), soprano, mixed chorus, 1982 (version of section of Final Alice; also version for mixed chorus, harp/piano, 1986)

Cabbages and Kings, soprano, mixed chorus, clarinet, 4 violins, small orchestra, 1996 (concert version of section of Dum Dee Tweedle)

Four Heartfelt Anthems (texts from an anonymous source, Robert Louis Stevenson, The New England Primer, Robert Burns), children's chorus, 2002

Paul Revere's Ride (text by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), amplified soprano, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 2005

Queer Hosannas (texts by Antler, Muriel Rukeyser, Jaime Manrique), 4 male voices, piano 4 hands, 2007

Credo Fugue (text by Robert Herrick), mixed chorus, 2011

Herrick's Anthems (text by Robert Herrick), 2011 (its two sections may be performed separately: Divination by a Daffadill, soprano, organ, mixed chorus; To His Sweet Saviour, mixed chorus)

Alphabet II (text from The New England Primer), mixed chorus, 2012

VOCAL:

Two Songs on Poems of James Joyce (text by James Joyce), soprano, piano, 1959, revised 1978

Four Songs on Poems of James Joyce (text by James Joyce), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1958–60

I Hear an Army (text by James Joyce), soprano, string quartet, 1964

Night Conjure-Verse (song-cycle, text by James Joyce), amplified soprano, amplified mezzo-soprano/amplified countertenor, 2 flutes (2nd + piccolo), oboe, 2 clarinets (2nd + bass clarinet), bassoon, French horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, 1965

Syzygy, Two Songs for Two Groups (text by James Joyce), amplified soprano, French horn, tubular bells (2 players), small orchestra (piccolo [+ alto flute], flute [+ piccolo], 2 oboes [2nd + English horn], 2 clarinets [2nd + bass clarinet], 2 bassoons [2nd + contrabassoon], 2 trumpets, 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, double bass), 1966

An Alice Symphony (texts by Lewis Carroll, David Bates), amplified soprano, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones [2nd + tenor saxophone], tenor banjo, mandolin, accordion), orchestra (8 winds, 9 brass, timpani, 5 percussion, strings), 1969, revised 1976 (three sections may be performed separately: The Lobster Quadrille [text by Lewis Carroll]; In Wonderland, A Scene with Lobsters [text by Lewis Carroll]; Illustrated Alice, Two Scenes from Wonderland [texts by Lewis Carroll, David Bates])

Adventures Underground (texts by Lewis Carroll, Isaac Watts), amplified soprano, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones, tenor banjo, mandolin, accordion), large orchestra, 1971, revised 1977

Vintage Alice (Fantascene on a Mad Teaparty) (texts by Lewis Carroll, Jane Taylor, anthem God Save the Queen), amplified soprano, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones, tenor banjo, mandolin, accordion), small orchestra (flute [+ piccolo], oboe, E-flat clarinet, bassoon, 2 French horns, trumpet, trombone, timpani, percussion, strings), 1972

Final Alice (texts by Lewis Carroll, William Mee, unknown source), amplified soprano–speaker, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones, tenor banjo, mandolin, accordion), large orchestra (109 players), 1974–75 (also version as Brass Symphony [shorter version as Heavy Metal Alice]; versions of one section, Acrostic Song [text by Lewis Carroll], for high/medium voice, piano, 1982; soprano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, piano, tubular bells, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 1987; flute, harp/piano; version by Stephen Mercurio for guitar; soprano, mixed chorus; mixed chorus, harp/piano; version by Mark Spede for symphonic band; version as Acrostic Paraphrase, harp; version incorporated into Brother)

Annotated Alice (text by Lewis Carroll), amplified soprano, ensemble (2 soprano saxophones, tenor banjo, mandolin, accordion), orchestra, 1976

Child Alice (text by Lewis Carroll), amplified soprano, large orchestra, 1977–81, revised 1984 (five sections may be performed separately: In Memory of a Summer Day, amplified soprano, large orchestra, 1977–80 [also version as Triumphant Alice (Marcia)]; Interlude and Ecstatic Alice, amplified soprano, large orchestra, 1980; Quaint Events, amplified soprano, large orchestra, 1981; Happy Voices; All in the Golden Afternoon, amplified soprano, large orchestra, 1981)

Haddocks' Eyes (texts by Lewis Carroll, Thomas Moore), amplified soprano, piccolo (+ flute), clarinet, French horn, trumpet, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 1985

Lenny B (text by Joel Conarroe), female voice, violin, piano, 1988

A Tale of Possession (text by Alfred Corn), any voice, piano, 1996

Chana's Story (song-cycle, text by Chana Bloch), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1996–98

Dracula (monodrama, text by Alfred Corn), amplified soprano–speaker, flute (+ piccolo), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, trumpet, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, piano (+ celesta), theremin, 2 percussion, 1996–98 (also version for amplified soprano–speaker, small orchestra [flute (+ piccolo), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, trumpet, piano (+ celesta), theremin, 2 percussion, strings]), 1996–98)

Miz Inez Sez (song-cycle, text by Colette Inez), high soprano (+ tambourine), piano, 1996–98

The Spider and the Fly (text by Mary Howitt), high soprano, high baritone, large orchestra, 1998

Three Baritone Songs (texts by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī [English translation], Michael Klein, Jaime Manrique), baritone, piano, 1999

Gay Life (song-cycle, texts by Michael D. Calhoun, Wilson Hand Kidde, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Monette, Thom Gunn), amplified baritone, large orchestra, 1996–2000 (also version for tenor/baritone, piano, 2007; version of one song as Wildwood Etude)

Honey Money Loves (text by Colette Inez), soprano, clarinet, bass clarinet, viola, cello, double bass, 2000

Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (song-cycle, text by Joshua Beckman), high soprano, piano, 1998–2001

Wondrous the Merge (melodrama, text by James Broughton), baritone–speaker, string quartet, 2001

My Favorite Penis Poems (song-cycle, texts by Marilyn Kallet, Edward Field, Alfred Corn, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī [English translation], Antler, Allen Ginsberg), soprano, baritone, piano, 1998–2002

On Wings of Song (song-cycle, texts by David Brunetti, Carla Drysdale, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Henry Francis Lyte, Edward Field), high soprano, piano, 2004

Rip Van Winkle (text by Washington Irving, adapted by Ray Warman), male speaker, large orchestra, 2005

The Soprano's Highest Note (text by Antler), mezzo-soprano, piano, 2006

Love Addiction (song-cycle, text by John Kelly), male voice, piano, 1997–2007

A Field Manual (Overture and Five Songs on the poetry of Edward Field), high soprano, baritone, amplified ensemble (flute, saxophone, electric guitar, violin, cello, double bass/bass guitar, piano/synthesizer, percussion), 2008

The Poem & the Master (text by Donald Hall), soprano, piano, 2009

PIANO:

Soliloquy, 1958

Fantasy Pieces, 1959–60

Scherzo, piano 4 hands, 1960

Virtuoso Alice (Grand Fantasy on a theme from 'Final Alice'), 1984

Opposites Attract (Portrait of Virgil Thomson), 1996

Ballad in Yellow, 1997

Wildwood Etude, 1999 (version of song from Gay Life)

Wedding Song, 2000

Three Gymnopédies, 2003

Ballad in Lavender, 2004

Gotham Glory, 2004

S/M Ballade, 2006

Aeolian Ballade (prelude and fugue), 2007 (version of work for harp)

Mandango, 2008

Carioca BoyTango, piano 4 hands, 2009

Farewell, R. W., 2010 (version of third movement of Facts of Life)

Fantasy on a Cherished Name (In Memoriam, Andrew Imbrie), 2010

Bittersweet, 2011

Monk (in memoriam Suzanne Nahalka), 2011

ARRANGEMENT:

Midday Thoughts (Aaron Copland), small orchestra (flute [+ piccolo], 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, strings), 2000