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Maw, (John) Nicholas

Maw, (John) Nicholas

Maw, (John) Nicholas , distinguished English composer and teacher; b. Grantham, Lincolnshire, Nov. 5, 1935. After studies with Berkeley (composition) and Steinitz (theory) at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1955–58), he held a French government scholarship for further training in Paris with Deutsch and Boulanger (1958–59). In 1959 he was awarded the Lili Boulanger Prize. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music (1964–66), and then was fellow commoner (composer-in-residence) at Trinity Coll., Cambridge (1966–70). He was a lecturer in music at the Univ. of Exeter, Devon (1972–74), and also served as composerin-residence of the South Bank Summer Music series in London (1973). In 1984–85 and 1989 he was a visiting prof, of music at the Yale School of Music. From 1989 he was a prof, of music at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard Coll. in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. In his music, Maw pursued a personal compositional path that utilizied neo-Classical and late Romantic elements before finding fulfillment in a style notable for its expansive lyrical qualities.


dramatic:One-Man Show, opera (London, Nov. 12, 1964; rev. 1966 and 1970); The Rising of the Moon, opera (1967–70; Glyndebourne, July 19, 1970); incidental music; film scores. orch.: Sinfonia for Small Orch. (Newcastle upon Tyne, May 30, 1966); Severn Bridge Variations (1967; in collaboration with M. Arnold, M. Tippett, A. Hoddinott, G. Williams, and D. Jones); Sonata for 2 Horn and Strings (Bath, June 7, 1967); Concert Music (London, Oct. 19, 1972; based on the opera The Rising of the Moon, 1967–70); Odyssey (1972–87; 1st complete perf., London, April 8, 1989); Life Studies I-VIII for 15 Solo Strings (Cheltenham, July 9, 1973; also nos. II, III, and VI-VIII for String Orch.); Serenade (Singapore, March 31, 1973; rev. 1977); Summer Dances for Youth Orch. (1980; Aldeburgh, July 27, 1981); Toccata (1982); Morning Music (1982); Spring Music (1982–83); Sonata notturna for Cello and Strings (1985; King’s Lynn, May 30, 1986); Little Concert for Oboe, 2 Horns, and Strings (Wymondham, May 28, 1988); The World in the Evening (London, Oct. 21, 1988); American Games for Wind Band (1990–91; London, July 23, 1991); Shahnama (1992); Violin Concerto (N.Y, Sept. 29, 1993). chamber: Flute Sonatina (1957); Chamber Music for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, and Piano (1962); 2 string quartets: No. 1 (Harlow, July 12, 1965) and No. 2 (1982; London, Jan. 13, 1983); Epitaph-Canon in Memory of Igor Stravinsky for Flute, Clarinet, and Harp (1971); Flute Quartet (London, May 7, 1981); Night Thoughts for Flute (London, June 10, 1982); Ghost Dances for 5 Players (N.Y., May 16, 1988); Music of Memory for Guitar (1989). piano:Personae I (1973) and IV-VI (1985–86). vocal:Nocturne for Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Orch. (1957–58); 5 Epigrams for Chorus (1960); Our Lady’s Song for Chorus (1961); Scenes and Arias for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Contralto, and Orch. (1961–62; London, Aug. 31, 1962; rev. 1966); The Angel Gabriel for Chorus (1963); Round for Children’s Chorus, Mixed Chorus, and Piano (1963); Corpus Christi Carol for Chorus (1964); Balulalow for Chorus (1964); 6 Interiors for High Voice and Guitar (1966; London, May 5, 1970); The Voice of Love for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (London, Oct. 6, 1966); 5 Irish Songs for Chorus (1972; Cork, May 4, 1973); Te Deum for Treble or Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, Congregation, and Orch. (Bruton, May 29, 1975); Reverdie for Men’s Chorus (Glasgow, Oct. 29, 1975); 20 Nonsense Rhymes for Children’s Voices and Piano (Darsham, Sept. 4, 1976); La Vita Nuova for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (London, Sept. 2, 1979); The Ruin for Double Chorus and Horn Obbligato (Edinburgh, Aug. 27, 1980); 5 American Folksongs for High Voice and Piano (1988); 3 Hymns for Chorus and Organ (1989); Roman Canticle for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Viola, and Harp (1989); One Foot in Eden, Here I Stand for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, and Chorus (1990); The Head of Orpheus for Soprano and 2 Clarinets (1992).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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