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Robinson, Earl (Hawley)

Robinson, Earl (Hawley)

Robinson, Earl (Hawley) , American composer; b. Seattle, July 2, 1910; d. in an automobile accident there, July 20, 1991. He studied with George McKay at the Univ. of Wash. (B.M. and teaching diploma, 1933), and then went to N.Y. (1934), where he completed his training with Copland and Eisler; was also active with the Workers Laboratory Theater and the Composers Collective of the Pierre Degeyter Club; it was during this period that he first gained notice via his topical songs. He won a Guggenheim fellowship (1942); was active in Hollywood as a composer for films until he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era; then returned to N.Y. and served as head of the music dept. at Elisabeth Irwin H.S. (1958–65). The film The House I Live In (1946) was inspired by his song of that title (1942), which won him an Academy Award in 1947. His autobiography appeared posthumously as Ballad of an American (Lanham, Md., 1998).


DRAMATIC : Music Drama : Song of Atlantis (1983). Folk Opera : Sandhog (1951–54); David of Sassoon (1978). Musicals : Processional (1938); Sing for Your Supper (1939); 1 Foot in America (1962); Earl Robinson’s America (1976); Listen for the Dolphin, children’s musical (1981). Ballet : Bouquet for Molly (1949). Other : Film scores. ORCH. : Good Morning (1949); A Country They Call Puget Sound, tone poem for Tenor and Orch. (1956; rev. 1961); Banjo Concerto (1966–67); The New Human, piano concerto (1973); To the Northwest Indians for Narrator, Folk Instruments, and Orch. (1974). VOCAL : Cantatas; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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