Weigel, Eugene (Herbert)

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Weigel, Eugene (Herbert)

Weigel, Eugene (Herbert), American composer, violisi, organist, and teacher; b. Cleveland, Oct. 11,1910. He studied composition with Arthur Shepherd at Western Reserve Univ. and violin with Maurice Hewitt at the Cleveland Inst. of Music (1930-32); later had composition lessons with Hindemith at Yale Univ. (B.M., 1946) and viola lessons with Hugo Kortschak. He was active as an organist and choirmaster (1929-1); and also was a founding member of the Waiden String Quartet (1930-35). While at Yale Univ., he served as music director of its Thomas More Chapel and played viola in the New Haven (Conn.) Sym. Orch.; appeared in various ensembles, including one in N.Y. with Hindemith on the viola d’amore in a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion. In 1946-47 he was again a member of the Waiden String Quartet during its residency at Cornell Univ. He played in the first performances of Schoenberg’s String Trio and Ives’s 2nd String Quartet; continued to play with the quartet at the Univ. of 111. (1947-57), where he also taught composition and experimental theory. In 1954-55 he held a Guggenheim fellowship. In 1955 he became composer-in-residence at Mont. State Univ. in Missoula, which was renamed the Univ. of Mont, that same year; remained there until 1972. He also was a founder-member of the Mont. String Quartet (1957-72). In 1972 he retired to Vancouver Island, Canada; conducted the Malespina Chorus and was prof, emeritus at Malespina Coll. (1974-76). In later years, he devoted much time to writing poetry, preparing his memoirs, and pursuing an avid interest in architecture.


dramatic: O p e r a: The Lion Makers (1953); The Mountain Child (1959). ORCH.: Sonata for Strings (1948); Festival Fanfare (1948); Prairie Symphony (1952); Concerto festivo for Flute, Harpsichord, and Strings (Berlin Festival, 1959); Fantasy and Fugue for Concert Band (1967). CHAMBER: Clarinet Quintet (1946); Woodwind Quintet (1949); Trombone Quartet (1953); Maine Sketches for Horn and Piano (1954); Duo for Clarinet and Bassoon (1955); piano pieces. VOCAL: Fall of the Leaf for Baritone and String Quartet (1938); Prayer for Peace for Chorus, Brass, and Percussion (1961); songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire