Pozdro, John (Walter)

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Pozdro, John (Walter)

Pozdro, John (Walter) , American composer and pedagogue; b. Chicago, Aug. 14, 1923. He began training in piano and theory at an early age with Nina Shafran, and later studied piano with Edward Collins at the American Cons. of Music in Chicago (1941–12). After serving as a field agent in military intelligence in the U.S. Army, he pursued his training in composition with Robert Delaney at Northwestern Univ., taking B.M. and M.M. (1949) degrees. He completed his studies with Hanson, Rogers, and Barlow at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (Ph.D. in composition, 1958). In 1950 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Kans. in Lawrence, becoming chairman of theory and composition in 1961. From 1958 to 1968 he also chaired its Annual Symposium of Contemporary Music. He retired from teaching in 1992. In 1993 he served as guest composer for the International Carillon Congress in Berkeley, where he was awarded the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley Medal for distinguished service in music. His music is inherently pragmatic, with tertian torsion resulting in the formation of tastefully enriched triadic harmony, and with asymmetric rhythms enhancing the throbbing pulse of musical continuity.


DRAMATIC : Hello, Kansas!, musical play (Lawrence, Kans., June 12, 1961); Malooley and the Fear Monster, “family opera” (1976; Lawrence, Kans., Feb. 6, 1977). ORCH.: Overture (1948; Evanston, Ill., Nov. 30, 1949); 3 syms.: No. 1 (1949), No. 2 (1957; Rochester, N.Y., May 4, 1958), and No. 3 (Oklahoma City, Dec. 12, 1960); A Cynical Overture (1952; Austin, Tex., March 24, 1953); Lament of Judas (1954; Austin, Tex., March 30, 1955); Lament in Memory of a Friend (1956; Rochester, N.Y., April 1957); Rondo giocoso for Strings (1964; Pittsburg, Kans., March 9, 1965); Music for a Youth Symphony (Lawrence, Kans., March 4, 1969); Waterlow Park: 1970 (Lawrence, Kans., May 8, 1972). CHAMBER : Wind Quintet (Evanston, Ill., Dec. 11, 1947); 2 string quartets (1947, 1952); Sextet for Flute and Strings (Evanston, Ill., Nov. 23, 1948); Elegy for Trumpet and Piano (1953; Lawrence, Kans., Jan. 6, 1954); Interlude for Winds (Lawrence, Kans., April 26, 1954); Trilogy for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, and Piano (Manhattan, Kans., Nov. 22, 1960); Sonata for Brass and Percussion (1966; Lawrence, Kans., Jan. 18, 1967); Violin Sonatine (1971); Impressions for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano (1984); 2 Movements for Cello and Piano (1987). KEYBOARD: Piano : 6 sonatas (1947, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1979, 1982); March (1950); 8 preludes (1950–74); 3 Short Pieces (1951); Rondo (1953); Ballade-Fantasy (1981); For Nancy (1987). Carillon : Landscape I (1954) and II: Ostinato (1969); Rustic Landscape (1981); Variations on a Slavonic Theme (1982); Tryptich (1980); Richard’s Träume (1993); Winds of Autumn (1996). VOCAL : John Anderson for Women’s Voices (1950; Lawrence, Kans., April 18, 1951); All Pleasant Things for Chorus (Lawrence, Kans., May 3, 1960); The Creation for Children’s Voices (1967); They That Go Down to the Sea for Chorus (Oklahoma City, Sept. 1967); After the Dazzle for Chorus (1970); This is the Hour, O Soul for Chorus (1970); Alleluia for Chorus (1979); King of Glory for Chorus, Organ, and Piano (1983); Spirit of Oread for Soloists, Chorus, and Organ (1989–90); The Lord’s Prayer for Chorus and Organ (1994).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire