Duke, John (Woods)

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Duke, John (Woods)

Duke, John (Woods), American pianist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Cumberland, Md., July 30, 1899; d. Northampton, Mass., Oct. 26,1984. He studied piano with Harold Randolph and composition with Gustav Strube at the Peabody Cons, of Music in Balti-more (1915–18), then studied piano with Franklin Cannon and composition with Howard Brockway and Bernard Wagenaar in N.Y,; later received instruction in piano from Schnabel in Berlin and in composition from Boulanger in Paris (1929). He was asst. prof. (1923–38) and prof. (1938–67) of music at Smith Coll. in Northampton, Mass., becoming prof, emeritus at his retirement. He composed over 200 songs, some of which are outstanding contributions to the genre.


DRAMATIC Captain Lovelock, opera (Hudson Falls, N.Y, Aug. 18,1953); The Sire de Maledroit, opera (Schroon Lake, N.Y, Aug. 15, 1958); The Yankee Pedlar, operetta (Schroon Lake, N.Y, Aug. 17, 1962). ORCH.: Concerto for Piano and Strings (1938); Carnival Overture (1940). CHAMBER : Suite for Solo Viola (1933); Fantasy for Violin and Piano (1936); String Trio (1937); 2 string quartets (1941, 1967); Piano Trio (1943). VOCAL: Choral works; more than 200 songs, including major cycles to poems of Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire