Nowak, Lionel (Henry)

views updated

Nowak, Lionel (Henry)

Nowak, Lionel (Henry), American pianist, teacher, and composer; b. Cleveland, Sept. 25, 1911. He studied piano with Beryl Rubinstein and Edwin Fischer, and took courses in composition with Elwell, Sessions, and Porter at the Cleveland Inst. of Music (B.Mus., 1933; M.Mus., 1936). In 1924 he made his formal debut as a soloist with the Cleveland Orch.; was director of music at Fenn Coll. in Cleveland (1932–38) and of the Doris Humphrey-Charles Weidman Modern Dance Co. (1938–42). He was prof. of music at Converse Coll. in Spartanburg, S.C. (1942–46), and also conducted the Spartanburg Sym. Orch. (1942–45). He was prof. of music at Syracuse Univ. (1946–48) and at Bennington (Vt.) Coll. (from 1948). Following a stroke in 1980, he composed works for piano, right-hand, and also commissioned such scores from other composers. He wrote some effective dance pieces.


dramatic: dance:Square Dances (1938); Danzas mexicanas (1939); On My Mother’s Side (1939); The Green Land (1941); Flickers (1942); House Divided (1944); Story of Mankind (1946). orch.: Piano Concerto (1944); Concert Piece for Timpani and Strings (1961). chamber: Oboe Sonata (1949); Orrea Pernel, sonata for Violin (1950); 3 cello sonatas (1950,1951, 1960); Diptych for String Quartet (1951); Quartet for Oboe and Strings (1952); Piano Trio (1954); Soundscapes: for Piano (1964), String Quartet (1970), Bassoon and Piano (1971), Violin, Piano, and Percussion (1971), and Woodwind Trio (1973); Suite for 2 Cellos (1981); Suite for Flute and Harpsichord (1989). vocal: Various pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

About this article

Nowak, Lionel (Henry)

Updated About content Print Article