Martirano, Salvatore, American composer and teacher; b. Yonkers, N.Y., Jan. 12, 1927; d. Urbana, III., Nov. 17, 1995. He studied piano and composition at the Oberlin (Ohio) Cons, of Music (B.M., 1951), then composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., with Rogers (M.M., 1952); later took courses with Dallapiccola at the Cherubini Cons, in Florence (1952–54). He served in the U.S. Marine Corps; played clarinet and cornet with the Parr is Island Marine Band. From 1956 to 1959 he held a fellowship to the American Academy in Rome, and in 1960 received a Guggenheim fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. In 1963 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of III. at Urbana. Martirano wrote in a progressive avant-garde idiom, applying the quaquaversal techniques of unmitigated radical modernism, free from any inhibitions.
Sextet for Wind Instruments (1949); Prelude for Orch. (1950); Variations for Flute and Piano (1950); String Quartet No. 1 (1951); The Magic Stones, chamber opera after the Decameron (Oberlin Cons., April 24, 1952); Piece for Orchestra (1952); Violin Sonata (1952); Contrasto for Orch. (1954); Chansons innocentes for Soprano and Piano (1957); O, O, O, O, That Shakespeherian Rag for Chorus and Instrumental Ensemble (1958); Cocktail Music for Piano (1962); Octet (1963); Underworld for 4 Actors, 4 Percussion Instruments, 2 Double Basses, Tenor Saxophone, and Tape (1965; video version, 1982); Ballad for Amplified Nightclub Singer and Instrumental Ensemble (1966); L’s.G.A. for a gas-masked Politico, Helium Bomb, 3 16mm Movie Projectors, and Tape (1968); The Proposal for Tapes and Slides (1968); Action Analysis for 12 People, Bunny, and Controller (1968); Selections for Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Viola, and Cello (1970); Sal-Mar Construction I-VII for Tape (1971–75); Fast Forward for Tape (1977); Fifty One for Tape (1978); In Memoriam Luigi Dallapiccola for Tape (1978); Omaggio a Sally Rand, video piece (1982); Thrown, sextet for Wind and Percussion (1984); Look at the Back of My Head for Awhile, video piece (1984); Sampler: Everything Goes When the Whistle Blows for Violin and Synthetic Orch. (1985; rev. 1988); Dance/Players I and II, video pieces (1986); 3 not 2, variable-forms piece (1987); Phleu for Amplified Flute and Synthetic Orch. (1988); LON/dons for Chamber Orch. (1989).
—Niciolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire