Seymour, John Laurence

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Seymour, John Laurence

Seymour, John Laurence, American composer; b. Los Angeles, Jan. 18, 1893; d. San Francisco, Feb. 1, 1986. He studied piano at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (B.A. in music, 1917; M.A. in Slavic languages, 1919), received instruction in piano and theory from Fannie Charles Dillon and in violin from Leila Fagge, and then took courses in composition with Pizzetti and Bohgen in Italy and with d’Indy in Paris (1923–28); later obtained his Ph.D. in English literature in 1940 from the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley with the diss. Drama and Libretto. He lectured there on opera and drama (1928–36), and also served as chairman of the theater dept. of Sacramento Jr. Coll.; later was a librarian at Southern Utah Coll. in Cedar City (1969–85). His opera, In the Pasha’s Garden, was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. on Jan. 24, 1935, and won the David Bispham Memorial Award.


DRAMATIC: Opera : Les précieuses ridicules (1920); In the Pasha’s Garden (1934; N.Y., Jan. 24, 1935); Ramona (Provo, Utah, Nov. 11, 1970); Ottanta, el Jefe Kolla (1977). Operetta : Bachelor Belles (1922); Hollywood Madness (1936); The Devil and Tom Walker (1942). Musicals : Ming Toy (1949); The Lure and the Promise (1960). OTHER : Piano Concerto; String Quartet; 2 string trios; sonatas for various instruments; piano pieces; songs; etc.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire