Effinger, Cecil

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Effinger, Cecil

Effinger, Cecil, American composer; b. Colorado Springs, July 22, 1914; d. Boulder, Colo., Dec. 22, 1990. He took courses in mathematics at Colo. Coll. (B.A., 1935), then studied harmony and counterpoint with Frederick Boothroyd in Colorado Springs (1934–36). He then studied composition with Wagenaar in N.Y. (1938) and Boulanger in Fontainebleau (1939), where he was awarded the Stoval composition prize. He was oboist in the Colorado Springs Sym. Orch. (1932–41) and the Denver Sym. Orch. (1937–41); taught at Colo. Coll. (1936–41) and the Colo. School for the Blind (1939–41). During World War II, he conducted the 506th Army Band (1942–45), then taught at the American Univ. in Biarritz, France (1945–46). After teaching at Colo. Coll. (1946–48), he was music ed. of the Denver Post (1947–48); then was head of the composition dept. (1948–81) and composer-in-residence (1981–84) at the Univ. of Colo, in Boulder. In 1954 he patented a practical music type-writer as the “Musicwriter.” In his music he maintained a median modern style, making use of polytonal and atonal procedures, without abandoning the basic sense of tonality.


DRAMATIC Pandora’s Box, children’s opera (1961); Cyrano de Bergerac, opera (Boulder, July 21, 1965); The Gentleman Desperado, music theater (1976); incidental music. ORCH.: Concerto Grosso (1940); Western Overture (1942); Concertino for Organ and Small Orch. (1945); 2 Little Syms. (1945, 1958); Suite for Cello and Chamber Orch. (1945); 5 syms. (1946–58); Piano Concerto (1946); Lyric Overture (1949); Pastorale for Oboe and Strings (1949); Sym. Concertante for Harp, Piano, and Orch. (1954); Tone Poem on the Square Dance (1955); Trio Concertante for Trumpet, Trombone, Horn, and Chamber Orch. (1964; also for 2 Pianos, 1968); Landscape I for Brass and Strings (1966) and II (1984); Violin Concerto (1972); Toccata for Chamber Orch. (1980); band pieces. CHAMBER : 6 string quartets (1943, 1944, 1948, 1963, 1985; No. 2, n.d., unfinished); Viola Sonata (1944); 3 piano sonatas (1946, 1949, 1968); Piano Trio (1973); Intrada for Brass Quintet (1982); Flute Sonata (1985); also band music. VOCAL: O r a t o r i o s : The Invisible Fire for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1957); Paul of Tarsus for Chorus, Strings, and Organ (1968). C a n t a t a s : Cantata for Easter for Chorus and Organ (1971); Cantata Opus 111: From Ancient Prophets for Chorus, Wind, Cello, and Double Bass (1983); other vocal works.


I L. Worster, C. E.: A Colorado Composer (Lanham, Md., 1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire