Berger, Jean

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Berger, Jean

Berger, Jean, German-born French, later American conductor, teacher, and composer; b. Hamm, Sept. 27, 1909. He studied musicicology with Wellesz at the Univ. of Vienna and with Besseler at the Univ. of Heidelberg (Ph.D., 1931), and then composition with Aubert and Capdevielle in Paris, where he conducted the choir Les Compagnons de la Marjolaine and in 1935 became a naturalized citizen. After teaching at the Conservatorio Brasileiro de Música in Rio de Janeiro (1939–11), he settled in the U.S., becoming a naturalized citizen in 1943. He taught at Middlebury (Vt.) Coli. (1948–59), the Univ. of Ill. in Urbana (1959–61), and the Univ. of Colo. (1961–68). In 1964 he founded the John Sheppard Music Bress in Boulder. He wrote mainly choral music in an accessible style. His best known work is the Brazilian Psalm for Chorus (1941).


DRAMATIC: Pied Piper, musical play for Dancers, Solo Voices, Choruses, and Small Orch. (1968); Birds of a Feather: An Entertainment (1971); Yiphth and his Daughter, opera

(1972); The Cherry Tree Carol, liturgical drama (1975). ORCH: Caribbean Concerto for Harmonica and Orch. (St. Louis, March 10, 1942, Larry Adler soloist); Creole Overture (1949); Petit Suite for Strings (1952); Short Overture for Strings (1958); Divertissement for Strings (1970); Short Symphony (1974); Diversion for Strings (1977). CHAMBER: Suite for Flute and Piano (1955); Divertimento for 3 Treble Instruments (1957); 6 Short Pieces for Woodwind Quintet (1962); Partita for Woodwind Quintet (1970); piano pieces. VOCAL: Le Sang des autres (1937); Brazilian Psalm (1941); Vision of Peace (1949); Magnificat for Soprano, Chorus, Flute, and Percussion (1960); Fiery Furnace, dramatic cantata (1962); Song of Seasons for Soloists, Choruses, and Orch. (1967); The Exiles for 2 Voices, 2 Pianos, and Percussion (1976); also songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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