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Martino, Donald (James)

Martino, Donald (James)

Martino, Donald (James), American composer, clarinetist, and teacher; b. Plainfield, N.J., May 16, 1931. He learned to play the clarinet, oboe, and saxophone in his youth, and then studied composition with Bacon at Syracuse Univ. (B.M., 1952), Babbitt and Sessions at Princeton Univ. (M.F.A., 1954), and Dallapiccola in Florence on a Fulbright scholarship (1954–56). In 1958–59 he was an instructor at Princeton Univ., and from 1959 to 1969 he taught theory and composition at Yale Univ. He then was a prof, of composition at the New England Cons, of Music in Boston (1970–80), where he served as chairman of the composition dept. He was Irving Fine Prof, of Music at Brandeis Univ. (1980–83). In 1983 he became a prof, of music at Harvard Univ., serving as Walter Bigelow Rosen Prof, of Music from 1989 until his retirement in 1993. He held 3 Guggenheim fellowships (1967, 1973, 1982). Martino was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1974 for his chamber piece Notturno. In 1983 his 4th string quartet won 1st prize in the Kennedy Center Friedheim awards and in 1986 he received the Boston Sym. Orch’s Mark M. Horblit Award. In 1981 he was made a member of the American Academy and Inst. of Arts and Letters, and in 1987 a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Works

orch.: Contemplations (1956; Lenox, Mass., Aug. 13, 1964; originally entitled Composition); Piano Concerto (1965; New Haven, March 1, 1966); Mosaic for Grand Orchestra (Chicago, May 26, 1967); Cello Concerto (1972; Cincinnati, Oct. 16, 1973); Ritorno (1975; Plainfield, N.J., Dec. 12, 1976); Triple Concerto for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, and Chamber Orch. (1977; N.Y, Dec. 18, 1978); Divertissements for Youth Orch. (1981); Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orch. (1987); Violin Concerto (1995). chamber: 4 string quartets (n.cl, withdrawn; 1952; 1954; 1983); Clarinet Sonata (1950–51); A Suite of Variations on Medieval Melodies for Cello (1952; rev. 1954); A Set for Clarinet (1954; rev. 1974); Quodlibets for Flute (1954); Sette canoni enigmatici, puzzle canons with various solutions for 2 Violas and 2 Cellos or 2 Bassoons, or for String Quartet, or for 4 Clarinets (1955–56); Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio (1957); 6 contrapuntal jazz pieces for Diverse Ensembles (all 1957); Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1959); Cinque frammenti for Oboe and Double Bass (1961); Fantasy-Variations for Violin (1962); Concerto for Wind Quintet (1964); Parisonatina al’dodecafonia for Cello (1964); B,A,B,B,IT,T for Clari- net with Extensions (1966); Strata for Bass Clarinet (1966); Notturno for 6 Players (1973); Quodlibets II for Flute (1980); Canzone e Tarantella sul nome Petrassi for Clarinet and Cello (1984); From the Other Side, divertimento for Flute, Cello, Percussion, and Piano (1988); 15, 5, 92, A. B.: A Musical Birthday Card for Arthur Berger for Clarinet (1992); 3 Sad Songs for Viola and Piano (1993); Serenata Concertante, octet (1999); Piccolo Studies for Alto Saxophone (1999). piano:With Little Children in Mind (1951); Fantasy (1958); Pianississimo, sonata (1970); Impromptu for Roger[Sessions] (1977); Fantasies and Impromptus (1978); Suite in Old Form: Parody Suite (1982); 12 Préludes (1991). vocal:Portraits: A Secular Cantata for Mezzo-soprano, Bass, Chorus, and Orch., after Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and e.e. cummings (1954); 7 Pious Pieces for Chorus and Optional Piano or Organ, after Robert Herrick (1972); Augenmusik: A Mixed Mediacritique for “actress, danseuse or uninhibited female percussionist and electronic tape” (1972); Paradiso Choruses, oratorio for 12 Soloists, Chorus, Children’s Chorus adlibitum, Tape, and Orch., after Dante’s Divine Comedy (1974; Boston, May 7, 1975); The White Island for Chorus and Chamber Orch., after Robert Herrick (1985; Boston, April 8, 1987); songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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