Kubik, Gail (Thompson)

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Kubik, Gail (Thompson)

Kubik, Gail (Thompson), American composer; b. South Coffeyville, Okla., Sept. 5, 1914; d. Covina, Calif., July 20, 1984. He was a student of Samuel Belov (violin), Rogers (composition), and McHose (theory) at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (B.M., 1934), Scott Willits (violin) and Sowerby (composition) at the American Cons, of Music in Chicago (M.M., 1936), and Piston (composition) at Harvard Univ. (1937–38); he also worked with Boulanger. After teaching at Mon-mouth (111.) Coll. (1934), Dakota Wesleyan Univ. in Mitchell, S.Dak. (1936–37), and at Teachers Coll. at Columbia Univ. (1938–40), he was a staff composer and adviser for NBC in N.Y. (1940–42). In 1942-43 he was director of music for the film bureau of the Office of War Information, and then was a composer-conductor for the U.S. Army Air Force Motion Picture Unit (1943–6). He later was composer-in-residence at Kans. State Univ. (1969), Gettysburg Coll. (1970), and Scripps Coll. in Claremont, Calif. (1970–80). In 1944 and 1965 he held Guggenheim fellowships. He held the American Prix de Rome in 1950-51. In 1952 he received the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Symphonie concertante. He composed much music for films, radio, and television which exerted a liberating force on his serious scores. The latter were notable for their neo-Classical bent in which rhythmic patterns were apt to be stimulatingly asymmetric.


dramatic:A Mirror for the Sky, folk opera (Eugene, Ore., May 23, 1939); Boston Baked Beans, opera piccola (1950; N.Y, March 9, 1952); film scores: Thunderbolt (1943-5); C-Man (1949); The Miner’s Daughter (1950); Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950; concert version for Narrator, 9 Instruments, and Percussion, 1950); The Desperate Hours (1955); radio and television scores. orch.:American Caprice for Piano and Orch. (1933); 2 violin concertos: No. 1 (1934; rev. 1936; Chicago, Jan. 2, 1938) and No. 2 (1940; rev. 1941); Suite (1935); Scherzo (1940); Music for Dancing (1940-46); Folk Song Suite (1941-6); Bachata (1947); Spring Valley Overture (1947); 3 syms.: No. 1 (1947–49), No. 2 (1955; Louisville, April 7, 1956), and No. 3 (1956; N.Y, Feb. 28, 1957); Symphonie concertante for Piano, Viola, Trumpet, and Orch. (1951; N.Y, Jan. 27, 1952; rev. 1953); Thunderbolt Overture (1953); Scenario (1957); Scenes (1964); Prayer and Toccata for Organ and Chamber Orch. (1968); Piano Concerto (1982–83). chamber: 2 Sketches for String Quartet (1932); Trivialities for Flute, Horn, and String Quartet (1934); Piano Trio (1934); Wind Quintet (1937); Suite for 3 Recorders (1941); Violin Sonatina (1941); Little Suite for Flute and 2 Clarinets (1947); Soliloquy and Dance for Violin and Piano (1948); Divertimento No. 1 for 13 Players (1959), No. 2 for 8 Players (1959), and No. 3 for Piano Trio (1970–71); Music for Bells for Handbells (1975). piano:Celebrations and Epilogue (1938-50); Song and Scherzo for 2 Pianos (1940; rev. 1962); Sonatina (1941); Sonata (1947); Intermezzo: Music for Cleveland (1967); Sym. for 2 Pianos (1980; based on Sym. No. 1, 1947-49). vocal:In Praise of Johnny Appleseed for Bass- baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1938; rev. 1961); Choral Profiles, Volk Song Sketches for Chorus (1938); Litany and Prayer for Men’s Chorus, Brass, and Percussion (1943–45); Memphis Belle for Speaker and Orch. (1944); Fables in Song for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone and Piano (1950–60); A Christmas Set for Chamber Chorus and Chamber Orch. (1968); A Record of Our Time, cantata for Narrator, Soloist, Chorus, and Orch. (Manhattan, Kans., Nov. 11, 1970); Scholastica for Chorus (1972); Magic, Magic, Magic! for Alto, Chamber Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (San Antonio, April 25, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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