Kennan, Kent Wheeler

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Kennan, Kent Wheeler

Kennan, Kent Wheeler, American composer and teacher; b. Milwaukee, April 18, 1913. He studied composition with Hunter Johnson at the Univ. of Mich. (1930–32), and then with Hanson and Rogers at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (M.B., 1934; M.M., 1936). He won the American Prix de Rome, and took some lessons with Pizzetti in Rome. Returning to the U.S., he taught at Kent State Univ. (1939–40) and at the Univ. of Tex. in Austin (1940–42). During World War II, served as bandleader in the U.S. Army (1942–45), then taught again at the Univ. of Tex. (1945–46) and at Ohio State Univ. (1947–49). In 1949 he joined the staff of the Univ. of Tex. on a permanent basis, retiring in 1983. He publ. The Technique of Orchestration (N.Y., 1952; 5th ed., rev., 1997 with D. Grantham); Counterpoint Based on 18th-Century Practice (N.Y., 1959; 4th ed., 1999); 2 workbooks on orchestration (1952, 1969); a counterpoint workbook (1959; 3rd ed., 1987).


orch.:Night Soliloquy for Flute and Orch. (1936); II campo dei fiori for Trumpet and Orch. (1937); Nocturne for Viola and Orch. (1937); Dance Divertimento (1938; also for 2 Pianos); Promenade (1938); Sym. (1938); Andante for Oboe and Orch. (1939); Piano Concertino (1946; also for Piano and Winds, 1963). chamber:Sea Sonata for Violin and Piano (1939); Scherzo, Aria, and Fugue for Oboe and Piano (1948); Trumpet Sonata (1956). Piano: 3 Preludes (1939); Sonatina (1945); 2 Preludes (1951). vocal:Blessed Are They That Mourn for Chorus and Orch. (1939); The Unknown Warrior Speaks for Men’s Chorus (1944); songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire