Denny, William D(ouglas)

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Denny, William D(ouglas)

Denny, William D(ouglas) , American composer, teacher, violist, and conductor; b. Seattle, July 2, 1910; d. Berkeley, Calif., Sept. 2,1980. He studied at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (B.A., 1931; M.A., 1933) before pursuing training in composition with Dukas in Paris (1933–35) and as a Horatio Parker Fellow at the American Academy in Rome (1939–41). He taught at his alma mater (1938–39), at Harvard Univ. (1941–42), and at Vassar Coll. (1942–14); returning to his alma mater, he served as a prof. (1945–78) and as chairman of the music dept. (1972–75). In his well- crafted output, he favored complex contrapuntal textures and dissonant harmonies.

Works

ORCH Bacchanale (1935); Concertino (1937; San Francisco, April 25, 1939); 3 syms.: No. 1 (CBS, May 1939), No. 2 (1949; San Francisco, March 22, 1951), and No. 3 (1955–57; San Francisco, Jan. 16,1963); Sinfonietta (1940); Suite for Chamber Orch. (1940); Overture for Strings (1945; San Francisco, May 2, 1946); Praeludium (1946; San Francisco, Feb. 5, 1947); Introduction and Allegro (1956). CHAMBER : 3 string quartets (1937–38; 1952; 1955); Viola Sonata (1943–44); String Trio (1965). O r g a n : Partita (1958); Toccata, Aria, and fugue (1966). CHORAL: Most Glorious Lord of Life, cantata (1943); 3 motets (1946–47).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire