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Mann, Robert (Nathaniel)

Mann, Robert (Nathaniel)

Mann, Robert (Nathaniel), American violinist, conductor, teacher, and composer; b. Portland, Ore., July 19, 1920. He studied violin with Déthier at the Juilliard Graduate School in N.Y., and had instruction in chamber music with Betti, Salmond, and Letz. He also took courses with Schenkman in conducting, and with Wagenaar and Wolpe in composition. In 1941 he won the Naumburg Competition, and made his N.Y. debut as a violinist. From 1943 to 1946 he was in the U.S. Army; then joined the faculty of the Juilliard School and in 1948 founded the Juilliard String Quartet, in which he played 1st violin, and which was to become one of the most highly regarded chamber music groups; in 1962 it was established as the quartet-in- residence under the Whittall Foundation at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., without suspending its concert tours in America and abroad. As a conductor, Mann specialized in contemporary music; was associated as a performer and lecturer with the Music Festival and Inst. at Aspen, Colo., and also served with the NEA; in 1971 he was appointed president of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation. He has composed a String Quartet (1952), Suite for String Orch. (1965), and several “lyric trios” for Violin, Piano, and Narrator.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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