Diemer, Emma Lou

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Diemer, Emma Lou

Diemer, Emma Lou, American composer, keyboard player, and teacher; b. Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 24, 1927. She was a pupil of Donovan and Hindemith at Yale Univ. (B.M., 1949; M.M., 1950), of Toch and Sessions at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summers 1954, 1955), and of Rogers, Hanson, and Craighead at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (Ph.D., 1960). She was composer-in-residence for the Ford Foundation Young Composers Project in Arlington, Va. (1959–61) and also on the faculties of the Univ. of Md. (1965–70) and the Univ. of Calif, at Santa Barbara (1971–91). From 1990 to 1992 she was composer-in-residence of the Santa Barbara Sym. Orch. In 1992 she won a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. She was Composer of the Year of the American Guild of Organists in 1995. In 1999 she received an honorary doctorate of letters from Central Mo. State Univ. Her works are included in several anthologies and many have been recorded. Several doctoral dissertations have been written on her music.


ORCH 4 syms. (1953; 1955; On American Indian Themes, 1959; Symphonie antique, 1961); 2 piano concertos (1953, 1991); Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orch. (1958); Pavane for Strings (1959); Youth Overture (1959); Rondo Concertante (1960); Festival Overture (1961); Flute Concerto (1963); Fairfax Festival Overture (1967); Concert Piece for Organ and Orch. (1977); Winter Day (1982); Trumpet Concerto (1983; rev. as a violin concerto, 1983); Suite of Homages (1985); Serenade for Strings (1988); Marimba Concerto (1990); Concerto in One Movement for Organ and Chamber Orch., Alaska (1995; Fair-banks, Jan. 1996, composer soloist); Santa Barbara Overture (Santa Barbara, March 1996). CHAMBER : Violin Sonata (1949); Piano Quartet (1954); Flute Sonata (1958); Woodwind Quintet No. 1 (1960); Sextet for Piano and Woodwind Quintet (1962); Toccata for Flute Chorus (1968); Music for Woodwind Quartet (1972); Trio for Flute, Oboe, Harpsichord, and Tape (1973); Pianoharpsichordorgan for 1 or 3 Performers (1974); Movement for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Piano (1976); Quadralogue for Flute Quartet (1978); Summer of 82 for Cello and Piano (1982); String Quartet No. 1 (1987); Catch-A-Turian for Violin and Piano (1988; also for Flute and Piano, 1994); Laudate for Trumpet and Organ (1990); A Quiet, Lovely Piece for Clarinet and Piano (1991); Sextet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1992); Psalms for Flute and Organ or Piano (1998); Psalm 121 for Organ, Brass, and Percussion (1998); Psalm 122 for Bass Trombone or Tuba and Organ (1998); Psalms for Organ and Percussion (1998). O r g a n : Four Biblical Settings (1993); Variations on Rendez a Dieu (1999). VOCAL: Kyrie for Chorus, 2 Pianos, and Percussion (1993); Gloria for Chorus, 2 Pianos, and Percussion (1996; orchestrated 1998); O Viridissima Virga for Women’s Chorus, Organ, and Percussion (1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire