Van Vactor, David
Van Vactor, David
Van Vactor, David, American flutist, conductor, teacher, and composer; b. Plymouth, Ind., May 8, 1906; d. Los Angeles, March 24, 1994. He enrolled in the premedicai classes at Northwestern Univ. (1924-27), then changed to the music school there, studying flute with Arthur Kitti and theory with Arne Oldberg, Felix Borowski, and Albert Noelte (B.M., 1928; M.M., 1935); also studied flute with Josef Niedermayr and composition with Franz Schmidt at the Vienna Academy of Music (1928-29), and then flute with Marcel Moyse at the Paris Cons, and composition with Dukas at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. Returning to the U.S., he was engaged as a flutist in the Chicago Sym. Orch. (1931-43); also was an asst. conductor of the Chicago Civic Orch. (1933-34) and a teacher of theory at Northwestern Univ., where he was conductor of its sym. and chamber orchs. (1935-39). From 1943 to 1945 he was asst. conductor of the Kansas City Phil., where he also was a flutist; was founder-conductor of the Kansas City Allied Arts Orch. (1945-47); concurrently was head of the theory and composition dept. at the Kansas City Cons. From 1947 to 1972 he was conductor of the Knoxville Sym. Orch.; in 1947 he organized the fine arts dept. at the Univ. of Tenn., where he was a prof, until 1976. In 1941 he toured as a flutist with the North American Woodwind Quintet and in 1945, 1946, and 1964 as a conductor in South America under the auspices of the U.S. State Dept. He held Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships in 1957-58. In 1976 he was honored with the title of Composer Laureate of the State of Tenn. He publ. Every Child May Hear (1960). As a composer, Van Vactor adhered mainly to basic tonalities, but he enhanced them with ingeniously contrived melodic gargoyles, creating a simulation of atonality. The rhythmic vivacity of his inventive writing created a cheerful, hedonistic atmosphere.
ORCH: Chaconnefor Strings (Rochester, N.Y., May 17, 1928); 5 Small Pieces for Large Orchestra (Ravinia Park, 111., July 5,1931); The Masque of the Red Death,after Edgar Allan Poe (1932); Flute Concerto (Chicago, Feb. 26, 1933); Passacaglia and Fugue (Chicago, Jan. 28, 1934); Concerto grossofor 3 Flutes, Harp, and Orch. (Chicago, April 4, 1935); 8 syms.: No. 1 (1936-37; N.Y, Jan. 19, 1939, composer conducting), No. 2, Music for the Marines (Indianapolis, March 27, 1943; programmed as a suite, not a sym.), No. 3 (1958; Pittsburgh, April 3,1959; perf. and recorded as No. 2), No. 4, Waiden,for Chorus and Orch., after Thoreau (1970-71; 1stcomplete perf., Maryville, Term., May 9, 1971; listed as Sym. No. 3 at its premiere), No. 5 (Knoxville, Term., March 11, 1976), No. 6 for Orch. or Band (1980; for Orch., Knoxville, Nov. 19, 1981; for Band, Muncie, Ind., April 13, 1983), No. 7 (1983), and No. 8 (1984); Overture to a Comedy No. 1 (Chicago, June 20,1937) and No. 2 (Indianapolis, March 14, 1941); 5 Bagatellesfor Strings (Chicago, Feb. 7, 1938); Symphonic Suite (Ravinia Park, III, July 21,1938); Viola Concerto (Ravinia Park, July 13,1940); Variazioni Solenne (1941; 1stperf. as Gothic Impressions,Chicago, Feb. 26, 1942); Pastorale and Dancefor Flute and Strings (1947); Violin Concerto (Knoxville, April 10, 1951); Fantasia, Chaconne and Allegro (Louisville, Feb. 20, 1957); Suite for Trumpet and Small Orch. (1962); Suite on Chilean Folk Tunes (1963); Passacaglia, Chorale and Scamperfor Band (1964); Sinfonia breve (1964; Santiago, Chile, Sept. 3, 1965); Sarabande and Variationsfor Brass Quintet and Strings (1968; Knoxville, May 4, 1969); Requiescatfor Strings (Knoxville, Oct. 17,1970); Andante and Allegrofor Saxophone and Strings (1972); Set of 5for Winds and Percussion (1973); Nostalgiafor Band (1975); Prelude and Fuguefor Strings (1975); Fanfare and Choralefor Band (1977); The Elementsfor Band (Knoxville, May 22, 1979). CHAMBER: Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Flute (1932); Suitefor 2 Flutes (1934); Divertimentofor Wind Quintet (1936); 2 string quartets (1940, 1949); Piano Trio (1942); Flute Sonatina (1949); Duettinofor Violin and Cello (1952); Wind Quintet (1959); Children of the Stars,6 pieces for Violin and Piano (1960); 5 Etudesfor Trumpet (1963); Octet for Brass (1963); Economy Band No. 1for Trumpet, Trombone, and Percussion (1966) and No. 2for Horn, Tuba, and Percussion (1969); Musicfor Woodwinds (1966-67); 4 Etudesfor Wind Instruments and Percussion (1968); Tuba Quartet (1971); Suite for 12 Solo Trombones (1972); 5 Songsfor Flute and Guitar (1974). VOCAL: Credofor Chorus and Orch (1941); Cantata for 3 Treble Voices and Orch. (1947); The New Light,Christmas cantata (1954); Christmas Songs for Young Peoplefor Chorus and Orch. (1961); A Song of Mankind,1stpart of a 7-part cantata (Indianapolis, Sept. 26, 1971); Processional “Veni Immanuel”for Chorus and Orch. (1974); Brethren We Have Met to Worshipfor Chorus and Orch. (1975); Episodes—Jesus Christfor Chorus and Orch. (Knoxville, May 2, 1977); Processionalfor Chorus, Wind Instruments, and Percussion (Knoxville, Dec. 1, 1979).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
"Van Vactor, David." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/van-vactor-david
"Van Vactor, David." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/van-vactor-david
Encyclopedia.com 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, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com 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 Encyclopedia.com 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.