Skip to main content

Van de Vate, Nancy

Van de Vate, Nancy

Van de Vate, Nancy, American composer and record producer; b. Plainfield, N.J., Dec. 30, 1930. She studied piano at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., Wellesley Coll. (A.B., 1952), and with Bruce Simonds at Yale Univ., and then concentrated on composition at the Univ. of Miss. (M.M., 1958) and Fla. State Univ. (D.M., 1968). She taught at Memphis State Univ. (1964-66), the Univ. of Tenn. (1967), Knoxville Coll. (1968-69; 1971-72), Maryville Coll. (1973-74), the Univ. of Hawaii (1975-76), and Hawaii Loa Coll. (1977-80). In 1975 she founded the International League of Women Composers, and served as its chairperson until 1982. In 1985 she settled in Vienna. In 1990 she and her husband, Clyde Smith, founded Vienna Modern Masters, a CD company dedicated primarily to recording new music for orchestra. She continued to oversee the company after her husband’s death. By 2000, VMM had 49 CDs of orchestral and orchestral-choral music in its catalog, and 33 CDs of unusual new music for solo instruments and chamber ensembles. Van de Vate’s music—highly charged and dissonantly colored by way of influences as varied as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Penderecki, Crumb, and Várese—has won international awards.


dramatic: Opera: The Death of the Hired Man,after Robert Frost (1958; Tupelo, Miss., Feb. 8, 1960; rev. 1998; Oxford, Miss., Nov. 19, 1999); In the Shadow of the Glen,after Synge (1994; Cambridge, Mass., March 12, 1999); Der Herrscher und das Mädchen,children’s opera (Vienna, June 21, 1995); Nemo: Jenseits von Vulkania (1995); All Quiet on the Western Front,after Remarque (1999). Music Theater:- Night in the Royal Ontario Museum (1983; College Park, Md., April 13, 1984); Cocaine Lil (1986; Bremen, April 22, 1988). ORCH.: Adagio (1957; Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 18, 1958); Variationsfor Chamber Orch. (1958; Hattiesburg, Miss., March 13, 1963); Piano Concerto (1968; Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 26, 1969; rev. version, Koszalin, Poland, Nov. 26,1993); Concertpiecefor Cello and Small Orch. (1978; Boston, April 29, 1979); Dark Nebulai (1981; Columbus, Ohio, June 29, 1983); Gema Jawa (Echoes of Java) (1984; Jakarta, Jan. 30,1985); Journeys (1984; Eugene, Ore., Feb. 25, 1985); Distant Worlds (1985; Krakow, June 20, 1987); 2 violin concertos: No. 1 (Pittsburg, Kans., Nov. 15,1987) and No. 2 (Ruse, Bulgaria, June 21, 1996); Pura Besakih (Besakih Temple, Bali) (1987; San Francisco, Feb. 6,1988); Chernobyl (1987); Krakow Concertofor Percussion and Orch. (1988; Krakow, Nov. 28,1989); Viola Concerto (1990; Krakow, Sept. 14,1993); Adagio and Rondofor Violin and Strings (Lancut, Poland, July 25,1994); Suite from Nemo (Ruse, Bulgaria, June 27, 1996); Harp Concerto (1996; Olomouc, June 21, 1998); A Peacock Southeast Flew,concerto for Pipa and Orch. (1997); Western Front (1997; Olomouc, June 21, 1998). CHAMBER: Short Suitefor Brass Quartet (1960); Woodwind Quartet (1964); String Quartet No. 1 (1969); Oboe Sonata (1969); 6 Etudesfor Viola (1969; N.Y., Dec. 24, 1974); Clarinet Sonata (1970); 3 Sound Piecesfor Brass and Percussion (1973; Atlanta, Feb. 23, 1974); Brass Quintet (1974; Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 23,1975; rev. 1979); String Trio (1974; Stowe, Vt., Aug. 1975); Quintet for Flute, Violin, Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1975; Honolulu, Jan. 12, 1976); Suite for Violin (1975; N.Y, Dec. 3, 1976); Musicfor Viola, Percussion, and Piano (1976; Honolulu, Feb. 27, 1977); Trio for Bassoon, Percussion, and Piano (Honolulu, Dec. 7, 1980); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1983; Mexico City, March 24, 1984); Music for MW2for Flute, Cello, Piano, 4-Hands, and Percussion (1985; N.Y, Feb. 10, 1989); Teufelstanzfor 6 Percussion (1988; Munich, Feb. 24, 1989); 7 Piecesfor Violin and Piano (1989; Vienna, July 19, 1991); 4 Fantasy Piecesfor Flute and Piano (Vienna, Nov. 15, 1993); Divertimentofor Harp and String Quintet (1996). KEYBOARD: Piano:2 sonatas: No. 1 (1978) and No. 2 (1983; Mexico City, March 23, 1984); 9 Preludes (1978; Los Angeles, April 2,1982); Contrastsfor 2 Pianos, 6-Hands (Jakarta, May 23, 1984); 12 Piecesfor Piano on 1 to 12 Notes (1986; Vienna, Sept. 19, 1990); Fantasy Pieces (1995; Utrecht, March 5, 1996); Night Journey (1996; Eisenstadt, April 19,1997). Harpsichord: Fantasy (1982; Ann Arbor, May 6, 1983); Sonata (1982; Davis, Calif., Nov. 12,1983). VOCAL: 4 Somber Songsfor Soprano or Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1970; Oak Ridge, Term., Oct. 21, 1973; also for Mezzo-soprano and Orch., 1992); An American Essayfor Soprano, Chorus, Piano, and Percussion (Knoxville, Term., May 16, 1972; also for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch., Koszalin, Poland, June 29,1994); Letter to a Friend’s Lonelinessfor Mezzo-soprano and String Quartet (Johnson City, Term., Nov. 8, 1976); Cantata for Women’s Voices and 7 Players (1979; Los Angeles, April 1, 1982; also as Voices of Womenfor Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Orch., 1993); Songs for the Four Parts of Nightfor Soprano and Piano (Paris, Oct. 25,1984); Katynfor Chorus and Orch. (Krakow, Nov. 28,1989); Choral Suite from Nemofor Chorus and Orch. (1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Van de Vate, Nancy." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 19 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Van de Vate, Nancy." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (January 19, 2019).

"Van de Vate, Nancy." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.