Sydeman, William (Jay)

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Sydeman, William (Jay)

Sydeman, William (Jay), American composer; b. N.Y., May 8, 1928. He studied at the Mannes Coll. of Music in N.Y. with Salzer and Travis (B.S., 1955) and with Franchetti at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Conn. (M.M., 1958); also had sessions with Sessions and Petrassi. He taught at the Mannes Coll. of Music (1959-70) and at Rudolph Steiner Coll. in Fair Oaks, Calif. (1980-82). His early style of composition tended toward atonal Expressionism invigorated by spasmodic percussive rhythms in asymmetrically arranged meters. In his later works, he moved toward tonal scores with elements of folk, pop, and jazz infusions.


dramatic: Opera: Aria da capo (1982).Incidental Music: Encounters (1967); Anti-Christ (1981); A Winter’s Tale (1982). ORCH.: Orchestral Abstractions (1958; N.Y., Jan. 10, 1962); Study No. 1 (1959), No. 2 (1963), and No. 3 (1965); Oecumenicus, concerto (1964); Concerto for Piano, 4-Hands, and Orch. (1967); 5 Movements for Winds (1973). CHAMBER: Woodwind Quintet (1959-61); Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, and Violin (1963); Duo for Trumpet and Percussion (1965); Trio montagnana for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1972); Fugue for String Quartet or Ensemble, with Optional Soprano (1975); 18 duos for 2 Violins (1976); Long Life Prayer for Violin and Speaker (1978); many other works. VOCAL: Lament of Elektra for Alto, Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1964); In memoriam: J.F. Kennedy for Narrator and Orch. (1966); Full Circle for 3 Solo Voices, Clarinet, Trombone, Percussion, Organ, and Cello (1971); Love Songs Based on Japanese Poems for Soprano, Flute, and Violin (1978); Calendar of the Soul for Multi-chorus (1982).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire