Stalvey, Dorrance

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Stalvey, Dorrance

Stalvey, Dorrance, American composer; b. Georgetown, S.C., Aug. 21, 1930. He studied clarinet and general music subjects at the Coll. of Music in Cincinnati (M.M., 1955). Prior to his late twenties, his interest was primarily in jazz improvisation. In composition he was wholly self-taught, and thanks to that developed an independent style marked by quaquaversal contrapuntal and harmonic techniques vivified by asymmetrical rhythms. He embraced a variegated career of teaching, composing, and management. He lectured on music history, theory, and analysis, off and on, at various schools; was an asst. prof. (1972–77) and then full prof. (1977–80) in composition at the Immaculate Heart Coll. in Los Angeles. In 1971 he assumed the post of artistic director of the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and since 1981 has been music director for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He also was active as a radio commentator and conductor. Stalvey received several awards from ASCAP and other musical organizations. His compositions had frequent performances, and astonishingly good reviews from habitually fatigued critics for his special spatial effects in multifarious multimedia productions.


Celebration-Principium for Brass and Percussion (1967); Points-Lines-Circles for Clarinet, Double Bass, Harp, Guitar, and Percussion (1968); In Time and Not for Multimedia Ensembles (1970); Togethers I for Guitar and Tape (1970), II for Percussion and Tape (1970), and III for Clarinet and Tape (1970); Celebration-Sequents I for Various Instruments (1973), II (1976), and IV (1980); Agathlon for Modern Dance and Instruments (1978); Ex Ferus for 6 Cellos or String Sextet (1982); Pound Songs for Soprano and Instruments (1985); Dualities for Guitar, Soprano, and Instruments (1986–87); String Quarta 1989 (1989); Exordium/Genesis/Dawn for 6 Players (1990). Also theatrical multi-lectures; chamber works (with and without tape); piano solos; composite compositions compounded of combinations of original numbers.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire