Hewitt, Harry Donald

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Hewitt, Harry Donald

Hewitt, Harry Donald, unimaginably fecund American composer; b. Detroit, March 4, 1921. His paternal grandmother was a Winnebago Indian. He was completely autodidact in music, and achieved such mastery of composition in quaquaversal directions without stylistic prejudice, that in some 40 years of writing music he produced 3, 300 works in every conceivable manner, using every speculative idiom, from jazz to pop, couched in every available tonal, atonal, polytonal, and incommensurate oriental scale. Entirely free from supercilious elitism, he was not ashamed to admit the authorship of a Hymn to Mickey Mouse or an Homage to Bugs Bunny. None of his 30 syms. were ever performed. The brute weight of his collected MSS is 1 1/2 tons.


dramatic:Opera: Tk Shadowy Waters; Moby Dick; The Song of Kawas; The Happy Hymadrayad; Doctor Too-Big; Clara’s Friend; Remember George; Pierre. OTHER: 30 syms., 2 of which, Amerindian Symphony and War Symphony, are unnumbered; over 300 works for Orch., including 19 symphonic poems: Kabir, The Manchila, The Night, Fairyland, The Mysterious Sea, The Seasons, In the Shade of the Upas Tree, New Year’s Eclogue, The House of Sleep, Raggedy Ann, Wa-Kon-Da, The Happy Garden, In a Green Shade, 7, Selene, The Wheel, Aldebaran, Angkor, and Anglesley Abbey; 2 piano concertos; Trombone Concerto; Guitar Concerto; 18 piano sonatas; 23 string quartets; and more than 100 other works for diverse chamber ensembles, e.g., Preludes for Flute and Marimba, Fantasia for Flute and Horn, Leaf in the Stream for Oboe and Tuba, etc.; uncountable songs and choruses.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire