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Blitzstein, Marc

Blitzstein, Marc (b Philadelphia, 1905; d Fort-de-France, Martinique, 1964). Amer. composer and pianist. Scion of a wealthy family, his work reflected his radical political outlook. During depression in USA, decided to compose for the popular th. and prod. perhaps his finest work, The Cradle will Rock (1936). Never repeated its success, though his adaptation of Brecht's Threepenny Opera (1952) was acclaimed and his Regina (1949), an adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes, has been successfully revived. Served 1942–5 with US Air Force in Eng. and comp. Airborne Symphony (1945). After he abandoned Parisian neo-classicism, his work was based on diatonicism laced with jazz and popular influences, in the manner made more familiar by Bernstein. Works incl.:OPERAS: Triple-Sec (1928); The Cradle will Rock (1936); No For An Answer (1940); I've Got the Tune (1937); Regina (1946–9); The Threepenny Opera (1952); Reuben, Reuben (1955); Juno, based on O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock (1958); Sacco and Vanzetti (1964, unfinished).BALLETS: Cain (1930); The Guests (1949).ORCH.: Airborne Symphony (1945); and other works, incl. pf. conc. and mus. for th. and films.

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