Bales, Richard (Henry Horner)

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Bales, Richard (Henry Horner)

Bales, Richard (Henry Horner), American conductor and composer; b. Alexandria, Va., Feb. 3, 1915; d. Lake Ridge, Va., June 25, 1998. He studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (Mus.B., 1936), at the Juilliard Graduate School in N.Y. (1938–41), and with Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center in Tangle wood (summer, 1940). In 1935 he made his conducting debut with the National Sym. Orch. in Washington, D.C.; then was conductor of the Va.-N.C. Sym. Orch. (1936–38). In 1942 he became the first music director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and in 1943 founded the National Gallery Orch., which he conducted until his retirement in 1985. He also was music director of the Washington, D.C., Cathedral Choral Soc. (1945–46). In 1960 he received the Alice M. Ditson Award. During his long tenure at the National Gallery of Art, he introduced numerous works by American composers, both old and new.


ORCH.: Music for Strings (1940); From Washington’s Time for Strings (1941); National Gallery Suites: I (1943), II (1944), III (1957), and IV (1965); Theme and Variations for Strings (1944); Music of the American Revolution, Suite No. 2 for Strings (1952); Stony Brook Suite for Strings (1968); Fitzwilliam Suite for Strings (1972); The Spirit of Engineering, suite (1984). CHAMBER: Sarcasms for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1937); String Quartet (1944); Reverie and Virginia Reels for Violin and Piano (1989). OTHER: Piano pieces, including the suite To Elmira with Love (1972; orchestrated, 1983), Diary Pages for 2 Pianos (1978), and Aaronesque (for Aaron Copland’s 80th birthday; 1980); various vocal scores, choral pieces, and songs; also film scores and many transcriptions and arrangements.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Bales, Richard (Henry Horner)

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