Skip to main content

Davidson, Randall

Davidson, Randall

Davidson, Randall , American composer; b. Pueblo, Colo., July 31, 1953. His mother was a church secretary and his father the son of the minister, and when Randall was 12 the family settled in Columbia, Mo. He studied with Dominick Argento, Eric Stokes, Susan McClary, and Paul Fetler at the Univ. of Minn. School of Music and with Alf Houkon, Olivier Messiaen, and Ned Rorem at Cornell Coll. He then had training with Sandy Goehr in London. He settled in Minneapolis, where he devoted himself to composition. Davidson has enjoyed a lengthy collaborative relation-ship with the celebrated radio humorist Garrison Keillor, for whom he has composed numerous works, including The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra (1988). He hosts a regular chamber concert series for the Schubert Club in Minneapolis, and in 1993 was commissioned by NIKE International for 4 grand opera commercials that were shown in cinemas and on commercial television around the world. One of these, Don Quincy, received a Gold Lion award at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Davidson has received numerous other honors and awards, including grants from Meet the Composer and American Composers Forum. From 1996 to 2000 he served as president of the American Music Center.


ORCH Black and Blues (1984); Mexico- Bolivar Tango (1987); The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra (1988). CHAMBER:Chamber Music (for these distracted times) for Clarinet, Viola, and Cello (1979); Three Ways of the Sacred & Profane for Cello (1979); Johann & Joe for Violin (1984); Song & Dance for Cello Trio (1984); Fanfare for the Union Depot for Brass Choir (1985); Around Columbia for String Trio (1987); Kittyhawk for Violin or Flute and Piano (1987); Mexico-Bolivar Tango for Oboe, Violin, and Piano (1989; also for String Trio);Anniversary Sonata or Oboe and Guitar (1992); Ya Ribon for Cello, Folk and Classical Harp, and Percussion (1994); How Can I Keep from Singing for Oboe, Cello, and Piano (1995). Piano :It’s All Right for Piano, 5-Hands (1987); Concerning One Summer: a Fantasy on Newfoundland Folk Melodies (1997). VOCAL: Cho r u s :Psalm 118:22–3 for Chorus and Handbells (1980); Christ is the King (1985); We Three Kings for 3 Male Soloists, Chorus, and Organ (1985; also for Chorus, Harp, Psalter, and Strings);Moving, at a Distance for Chorus and Orch. (1988); Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service for Chorus and Organ or String Trio (1989); O Lux Trinitas for Vocal Soloists, Chorus, and Organ (1989); Good Night… for Chorus and Piano (1990); Lover’s Lament for Chorus and Guitar (1991); Christ Was Born on Christmas Day for Chorus and Percussion and/or Organ (1992); Come Rejoicing for Chorus and Percussion (1992); Gloria for Chorus and Piano (1992); Love is a Thread for Chorus, Drum, and Organ (1992); These Children of Both God and EarthMamrelund for Chorus and Organ (1992); Pour Out the Spirit for Chorus and Organ (1993); Jesus Leads the Way for Baritone Solo, Chorus, and Organ (1994); The Fourth Wise Man for 4 Men’s Voices, Mezzo-soprano, Treble Trio, Choruses, and Chamber Orch. (1995); Beatitudes for Tenor and Baritone Soloists, Chorus, and Organ, from The Fourth Wise Man (1997). O t h e r V o c a l :Three Songs on texts by Emily Dickinson for Mezzo-soprano and Viola (1978); Simple Gifts for Soprano, Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1982); The Land Where One Never Dies for Narrator and Piano Trio (1982); Lord Thomas & Ellender for Soprano, Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1983); Part Song for Tenor, Baritone, Bass, and Piano (1991); Pete Seeger’s Old Devil Time for Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1993). OTHER: Numerous arrangements and original compositions for Garrison Keillor’s repertoire; arrangement of Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor, op.103 (1993).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Davidson, Randall." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 23 May. 2019 <>.

"Davidson, Randall." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (May 23, 2019).

"Davidson, Randall." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved May 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.