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DeVoto, Mark (Bernard)

DeVoto, Mark (Bernard), American composer, teacher, writer on music, pianist, and conductor; b. Cambridge, Mass., Jan. 11, 1940. His father was the American novelist, journalist, historian, and critic Bernard (Augustine) DeVoto. He studied at the Longy School of Music (1946–56), then with Thompson, Piston, Pirrotta, and Ward at Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1961), with Foss at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summer 1959), and with Sessions, Kim, Babbitt, and Cone at Princeton Univ. (M.F.A., 1963; Ph.D., 1967, with the diss. Alban Berg’s Picture-Postcard Songs). He taught at Reed Coll. (1964–68), Portland State Univ. (1968), the Univ. of N.H. (1968–81), and Tufts Univ. (from 1981), where he was director of its sym. orch. He was founding ed. of the International Alban Berg Soc. newsletter (1968–75). DeVoto also rev. and aug. Walter Piston’s Harmony (4th ed., 1978; 5th ed., 1987) and publ. a vol. of essays on Debussy (2000).

Works

ORCH 4 piano concertos: No. 1 (1956), No. 2 (1965–66), No. 3, The Distinguished Thing (1968), and No. 4 with Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Women’s Voices, and Viola obbligato (1983); Night Songs and Distant Dances (1962); 3 Little Pieces (1964); Interior Dialogue (1991). CHAMBER : 2 Etudes for Piano, Left Hand (1970); Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, and Harp (1987); Lux benigna for Euphonium, Violin, Organ, and Piano (1988); Zvon for Flute, Violin, and Piano (1992); String Quartet No. 2 (1993); Pavane and Zortzico for Piano (1997); Cloud Piece for 2 Pianos, 8-Hands (1999). VOCAL: Planh for 6 Solo Voices and 5 Instruments (1960); 3 Edgar Allan Poe Songs for Soprano, Concertina, Guitar, Harpsichord, and 8 Flutes (1967; rev. 1970); Fever-Dream Vocalise for Soprano, Flute, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1968); Ornieres for Soprano, Piano, Organ, and Percussion Ensemble (1974); The Caucasian Chalk Circle for Voices and 9 Instruments (1979–80); H for Reciter and Flute Choir (1981); Psalm 98 for Chorus, 2 Trumpets, and 2 Trombones (1983); Herbstlieder, 6 songs for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1986); Hodayot for Chorus and Orch. (1989–90). OTHER: Orch. and band arrangements.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

DeVoto, Mark (Bernard)

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