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Loomis, Clarence

Loomis, Clarence

Loomis, Clarence, American pianist, teacher, and composer; b. Sioux Falls, S.Dak., Dec. 13,1889; d. Aptos, Calif., July 3,1965. He studied at the American Cons, of Chicago with Heniot Levy (piano) and Adolph Weidig (composition), and subsequently took lessons with Godowsky in Vienna. Returning to the U.S., he held various positions as a music teacher. As a composer, he was mainly successful in writing light operas in a Romantic vein. Among them are Yolanda of Cyprus (London, Ontario, Sept. 25, 1929), A Night in Avignon (Indianapolis, July 1932), The White Cloud (1935), The Fall of the House of Usher (Indianapolis, Jan. 11,1941), Revival (1943), and The Captive Woman (1953). He further wrote a comic ballet, The Flapper and the Quarterback, which was first performed in Kyoto, Japan, at the coronation of Emperor Hirohito, Nov. 10, 1928. Among his orch. works were Gargoyles, symphonic prelude (1936), Gaelic Suite for Strings (1953), Fantasy for Piano and Orch. (1954), and Macbeth (1954), as well as The Passion Play for Chorus and Orch. Other works include 2 string quartets (1953, 1963), a cantata, Song of the White Earth (1956), numerous sacred choruses, Susanna Don’t You Cry, stage extravaganza (1939), piano suites, songs, and organ pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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