Nordoff, Paul

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Nordoff, Paul

Nordoff, Paul, American composer and music therapist; b. Philadelphia, June 4, 1909; d. Herdecke, Germany, Jan. 18, 1977. He studied piano with Olga Samaroff at the Philadelphia Cons. (B.M., 1927; M.M., 1932) and composition with Rubin Goldmark at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y. (1928–33); later received his bachelor’s degree in music therapy at Combs Coll. (1960). In 1993–94 and 1935–36 he held Guggenheim fellowships. He taught composition at the Philadelphia Cons. (1937–42), Mich. State Coll. (1945–49), and Bard Coll. (1949–59). From 1959 he devoted himself mainly to music therapy for handicapped children. With C. Robbins, he publ. Music Therapy for Handicapped Children: Investigations and Experience (N.Y, 1965), Music Therapy in Special Education (N.Y, 1971), Therapy in Music for Handicapped Children (N.Y, 1971), and Creative Music Therapy: Individualized Treatment for the Handicapped Child (N.Y, 1977).


dramatic opera: Mr. Fortune (1936–37; rev. 1956–57); The Sea Change (1951). operetta:The Masterpiece (1940; Philadelphia, Jan. 24, 1941). ballet:Every Soul Is a Circus (1937); Salem Shore (1943); Tally Ho (1943). orch.:Prelude and 3 Fugues for Chamber Orch. (1932–36); Piano Concerto (1935); Suite (1938); Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orch. (1948); Violin Concerto (1949); The Frog Prince for Narrator and Orch. (1954); Winter Symphony (1954); Spring Symphony (1956); Gothic Concerto for Piano and Orch. (1959). chamber: Piano Quintet (1936); Quintet for Winds and Piano (1948); Violin Sonata (1950); Flute Sonata (1953); piano pieces. vocal: Choral pieces; songs.other: Many pieces for handicapped children.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire