Gottlieb, Jack

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Gottlieb, Jack

Gottlieb, Jack, American composer and writer on music; b. New Rochelle, N.Y., Oct. 12, 1930. He studied composition with Robert Strassberg before pursuing training with Karol Rathaus at Queens Coll. in N.Y. (B.A., 1953), Aaron Copland and Boris Blacher at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summers, 1954-55), Irving Fine at Brandeis Univ. (M.F.A., 1955), and Burrill Phillips and Robert Palmer at the Univ. of 111. (D.M.A., 1964, with the diss. The Music of Leonard Bernstein: A Study of Melodic Manipulations). From 1958 to 1966 he was Bernstein’s assistant at the N.Y. Phil. After serving as music director of Temple Israel in St. Louis (1970-73), he returned to N.Y. and was composerin-residence at the School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union Coll.-Jewish Inst. of Religion (1973-75). In 1977 he joined Amberson Enterprises, Inc., the company responsible for Bernstein’s musical activities and archives. In 1979 he founded Theophilous Enterprises, Inc., for the publication of his own works. From 1991 to 1997 he was president of the American Soc. for Jewish Music. Gottlieb has written extensively on Bernstein’s life and legacy, and ed. the rev. edition of the vol. Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts (N.Y, 1992). He held a Yaddo residency (1960) and 9 MacDowell Colony residencies (1962-76). In 1975 he received an NEA award. In 1993 he was honored with the first Ahad Ha’am Award of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity of Philadelphia. Gottlieb’s style of composition is distinctly American, generally conservative and tonal, but liberally laced with spiky rhythms and pun-gent dissonances.


DRAMATIC Tea Party, opera (1955; Athens, Ohio, Aug. 4, 1957); Public Dance, opera (1964; withdrawn); The Song of Songs, Which is Solomon’s, operatorio (1968-76); The Movie Opera (1982; N.Y, Feb. 28, 1985; stage perf., N.Y, June 19, 1986; rev. 1994); Death of a Ghost, opera (N.Y, Dec. 13, 1988); Bellwether, musical (N.Y, April 7, 1989; withdrawn); After the Flood, musical fable (1990-91; rev. 1995); Monkey Biz’niz, musical diversion (1991-93; N.Y, Dec. 13, 1998). ORCH.: Pieces of Seven (Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 23, 1962; withdrawn); Articles of Faith (1965; Detroit, April 14, 1966). CHAMBER: Clarinet Quartet (1952; N.Y, May 29, 1953); Pastorale and Dance for Violin and Piano (1953; Waltham, Mass., May 17, 1954); String Quartet (1954; Waltham, Mass., April 25, 1955); Twilight Crane for Woodwind Quintet (1961; NY., March 24, 1962); Fantasy on High Holy Day Themes for Cello (Rye, N.Y, Sept. 30, 1998); Sessionals for Brass Quintet (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y, Oct. 10, 1998). KEYBOARD : Piano : Sonata (1960; N.Y, Feb. 9, 1963); The Silent Flickers for Piano, 4-Hands (1968; rev. 1996; also for Solo Piano, 1981). Organ : Judge of the World (Cincinnati, June 15, 1975); The Voice of the Lord in the Storm (1985). VOCAL: Hoofprints, 3 songs for Soprano and Piano (1954; rev. 1963; N.Y, March 8, 1964); 2 Blues for Woman’s Voice and Clarinet (1954; rev. 1963; N.Y, June 7, 1964); Kids’ Calls for Chorus and Piano (1957; Urbana, 111., Feb. 23, 1958); In Memory of…, cantata for Tenor, Chorus, and Organ (N.Y, March 18, 1960); Songs of Loneliness for Baritone and Piano (1962; Washington, D.C., March 7, 1964); Love Songs for Sabbath, Friday Evening Service for Cantor, Chorus, and Organ (N.Y, May 7, 1965); Downtown Blues for Uptown Halls, 3 songs for Woman’s Voice, Clarinet, and Piano (1965; rev. 1977; N.Y, March 26, 1978); Shout for Joy, church or synagogue Psalms for Mostly Unison Chorus, Piano, 2 Flutes, and 3 Drums (1967; N.Y, Jan. 19, 1969); New Year’s Service for Young People for Chorus and Organ (St. Louis, Oct. 1, 1970); Verses from Psalm 118 for Chorus and Organ (St. Louis, June 6, 1973); Sharing the Prophets, musical happening for Soloists, Chorus, Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (1975;N.Y, March 14, 1976); Set Me as a Seal for Chorus, Violin or Flute, and Piano (1976; rev. 1991); 4 Affirmations for Alto or Baritone, Chorus, and Brass Sextet or Piano/Organ (N.Y, April 17, 1976; Nos. 1 and 3 withdrawn); Psalmistry for 4 or 2 Singers and 11 Players (1978-79; N.Y, Oct. 12, 1980); Solitaire, song cycle for Baritone and Piano (1988-91; N.Y, Feb. 25, 1992); Scrapbook, song cycle for Baritone and Piano (1988-91; N.Y, March 31, 1992); Presidential Suite for Chorus (1989; N.Y, Oct. 27, 1990); The English Lesson for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano or Alto, and Piano (1993); yes is a pleasant country, song cycle for High Voice and Piano, after e.e. cummings (NY., Nov. 22, 1998); Grant us Peace, anthem for Soloist, Chorus, and Organ or Piano (1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire