Morris, Harold

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Morris, Harold

Morris, Harold, American composer, teacher, and pianist; b. San Antonio, March 17, 1890; d. N.Y., May 6, 1964. He studied at the Univ. of Tex. (B.A.) and the Cincinnati Cons. (M.M., 1922). He was on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music (1922–39) and Teachers Coll., Columbia Univ. (1935–46). He was one of the principal founders of the American Music Guild in N.Y. (1921). In his music, he revealed himself as a Romanticist; in the main direction of his creative development, he was influenced by Scriabin. Many of his works were of programmatic content, some including American thematic material.


orch.:Poem, after Tagore’s Gitanjali(1915; Cincinnati, Nov. 29, 1918); Dum-A-lum, variations on a Negro spiritual for Chamber Orch. (1925); 3 syms.: No. 1, after Browning’s Prospice(1925), No. 2, Victory(1943; Chicago, Dec. 23, 1952), and No. 3, Amaranth, after E.A. Robinson (1946; Houston, March 13, 1948); Piano Concerto on 2 Negro Themes (1927; Boston, Oct. 23, 1931); Suite for Chamber Orch. (1927; N.Y., Nov. 1, 1941); Violin Concerto (1938; N.Y., May 25, 1939); Passacaglia and Fugue(1939); American Epic(1942); Heroic Overture(1943); Passacaglia, Adagio, and Finale(1955). chamber:2 piano trios (1917, 1933); Violin Sonata (1919); 2 string quartets (1928, 1937); 2 piano quintets (1929, 1937); Suite for Piano and Strings (1943); also many works for solo piano, including 4 sonatas (1915, 1915, 1920, 1939) and Ballade(1938).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire