Johnson, Hunter, American composer and teacher; b. Benson, N.C., April 14, 1906. He studied at the Univ. of N.C. (1924–26), and at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., graduating in 1929. In 1933 he received the Rome Prize. He taught at the Univ. of Mich. (1929–33), the Univ. of Manitoba (1944–47), Cornell Univ. (1948–53), the Univ. of III. (1959–65), and the Univ. of Tex. (1966–71). In 1941 and 1954 he held Guggenheim fellowships. His output follows in the tradition of Ives and Copland.
dramatic:Ballet: in Time of Armament (1939); Letter to the World (1940); Deaths and Entrances (1942); The Scarlet Letter (1975). ORCH.: Prelude (1930); Sym. (1931); Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orch. (1935); Elegy for Clarinet and Strings (1937); Concerto for Orchestra (1944); Music for Strings (1949–54); North State, to commemorate the tricentennial of the Carolina Charter (1963); Past the Evening Sun (1964). CHAMBER: Piano Sonata (1934; rev., 1936 and 1947-48); Elegy for Hart Crane for Clarinet Quintet (1936); Serenade for Flute and Clarinet (1937); Violin Sonatina (1937); Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Piano (1954). VOCAL: Songs.
R. Monaco, The Music of H. J. (diss., Cornell Univ., I960).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire