Pinkham, Daniel (Rogers, Jr.)

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Pinkham, Daniel (Rogers, Jr.)

Pinkham, Daniel (Rogers, Jr.), esteemed American composer, organist, choral conductor, and teacher; b. Lynn, Mass., June 5, 1923. He received training in organ and harmony from Carl Pfatteicher at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., before pursuing his studies with Merritt, Piston, Davison, and Copland at Harvard Univ. (A.B., 1943; M.A., 1944). He also received instruction in harpsichord from Aldrich and Landowska, and in organ from Biggs. He likewise attended the composition courses given by Honegger and Barber at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, and then studied with Boulanger. Pinkham taught at Simmons Coll. in Boston, Boston Univ., and Dartington Hall in Devon, England. In 1957–58 he was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Univ. In 1958 he became music director of the King’s Chapel in Boston. He also taught at the New England Cons, of Music in Boston from 1959. In 1950 he held a Fulbright fellowship and in 1962 received a Ford Foundation fellowship. He was awarded an honorary Litt.D. degree from Nebr. Wesleyan Univ. (1976) and honorary Mus.D. degrees from Adrian Coll. (1977), Westminster Choir Coll. (1979), the New England Cons, of Music (1993), Ithaca Coll. (1994), and the Boston Cons, of Music (1998). In 1990 he was named composer of the year by the American Guild of Organists. He received the Alfred Nash Patterson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the choral arts in 1996. In his prolific output as a composer, Pinkham has demonstrated a fine capacity for producing versatile scores. The formal design of his music is compact and contrapuntally cohesive. The rhythmic element is often propulsive while he occasionally introduces modernistic devices without disrupting the tonal fabric of his scores.


dramatic: Theater works; chamber operas; some 20 documentary film scores. ORCH.: 3 sonatas for Organ and Strings (1943, 1954, 1986; also for Organ and Chamber Ensemble); 2 violin concertos: No. 1 (Falmouth, Mass., Sept. 8, 1956) and No. 2 (1968); 4 syms.: No. 1 (Washington, D.C., April 29, 1961), No. 2 (1962; Lansing, Mich., Nov. 23, 1963), No. 3 (1985), and No. 4 (Washington, D.C., Nov. 4, 1990); Catacoustical Measures (N.Y., May 28, 1962); Signs of the Zodiac for Orch. and Optional Narrator (Portland, Maine, Nov. 10, 1964); 3 organ concertos: No. 1 (1970), No. 2 (Rheinland-Pfalz, Sept. 1,1995), and No. 3 (1997); Serenades for Trumpet and Wind Orch. (1979; Cambridge, Mass., March 7, 1980); Concerto piccolo for Piccolo, String Orch. or Quintet, and Percussion (New Orleans, Aug. 20,1989); Overture Concertante (Boston, Oct. 29, 1992); Music for an Indian Summer for Harp and Wind Ensemble (1997); Evening Music for Brass Ensemble and Glockenspiel (1998). chamber: Piano Concertino (Cambridge, Mass., May 3, 1950); Concerto for Celesta and Harpsichord (1954; N.Y., Nov. 19,1955); Concertante for Organ, Celesta, and Percussion (1963); Toccatas for the Vault of Heaven for Organ and Tape (1972); Masks for Harpsichord and Chamber Ensemble (1978); Diversions for Organ and Harp (1980); Brass Quintet (1983); Sonata da chiesa for Viola and Organ (1988); String Quartet (Boston, April 8, 1990); Reed Trio (Boston, Sept. 29, 1994); Morning Music for Organ and Brass Quintet (1994); Sagas for Guitar and Cello (1997); Divertimento for Trumpet and Harp (1997); String Trio (1998); Odes for English Horn and Organ (1998); Quarries for Piano, 4-Hands (Rocca di Cambio, Aug. 11, 1999); numerous organ pieces. vocal:Wedding Cantata for Optional Soprano and Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 22, 1956); Christmas Cantata for Chorus and Orch. (1957); Easter Cantata for Chorus and Orch. (1961); Requiem for Alto, Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1962; N.Y., Jan. 24,1963); Stabat Mater for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (Lenox, Mass., Aug. 10, 1964); Si. Mark Passion for Chorus and Orch. (Southboro, Mass., May 22, 1965); Magnificat for Soprano, Women’s Chorus, and Orch. (1968); Ascension Cantata for Chorus and Orch. (Columbus, Ohio, March 20,1970); Daniel in the Lion’s Den for Narrator, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Chorus, 5 Instrumentalists, and Tape (1972); The Passion of Judas for Soloists, Chorus, and 5 Instrumentalists (1975; Washington, D.C., June 6, 1976); The Descent into Hell for Soprano, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, Orch., and Tape (1979; Buckhannon, W.Va., Oct. 17, 1980); Hezekiah for Chorus and Orch. (1979; Shaker Heights, Ohio, April 8,1981; rev. 1987); When God Arose for Chorus and Orch. (1979; Norman, Okla., Feb. 15, 1980); Before the Dust Returns for Chorus and Orch. (Lewisburg, Pa., Nov. 21, 1981); In Heaven Soaring Up for Alto, Tenor, Chorus, Oboe, and Harp (1985); Getting to Heaven for Soprano, Chorus, Brass Quintet, and Harp (1987); Stabat Mater (1990); Advent Cantata (Albany, N.Y., Dec. 4,1991); The Creation of the World for Narrator, Chorus, Organ, and Brass Quintet (1994); The Guiding Star for Tenor, Chorus, Organ, and Brass Quartet (1994); The White Raven for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1995); Jubilee and Psalm (1999; Boston, Jan. 1, 2000); numerous other vocal works, both sacred and secular.


M. Johnson, The Choral Works ofD. P. (diss., Univ. of Iowa, 1966); M. Corzine, The Organ Works of D. P. (diss., Eastman School of Music, 1979); M. Stallings, Representative Works for Mixed Chorus by D. P.: 1968–1983 (diss., Univ. of Miami, 1984); K. Deboer and J. Ahouse, D. P.: A Bio-Bibliography (Westport, Conn., 1988).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire