Westergaard, Peter (Talbot)
Westergaard, Peter (Talbot)
Westergaard, Peter (Talbot), American composer, music theorist, and teacher; b. Champaign, 111., May 28, 1931. He was a student of Piston at Harvard Coll. (A.B., 1953), of Milhaud at the Aspen (Colo.) Music School (summers, 1951-52) and at the Paris Cons. (1953), of Sessions at Princeton Univ. (M.F.A., 1956), and of Fortner in Detmold (1956) and in Freiburg im Breisgau (1957) on a Fulbright fellowship. After serving as a guest lecturer at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau (1958), he taught at Columbia Univ. (1958-66). In 1966-67 he was a visiting lecturer at Princeton Univ. In 1967-68 he taught at Amherst Coll. He became an assoc. prof, at Princeton Univ. in 1968, and a full prof, in 1971. He served as chairman of its music dept. (1974-78; 1983-86). In 1995 he was named the William Shubael Conant Prof, of Music there. He also held the endowed chair at the Univ. of Ala. School of Music in 1995. In addition to various commissions, he held a Guggenheim fellowship (1964-65) and an NEA grant (1990-91). He wrote various articles for journals and publ. the study An Introduction to Tonal Theory (N.Y., 1975). In his compositions, Westergaard explored the potentialities of total organization of tones, rhythms, and other compositional elements.
dramatic: Charivari, chamber opera (1953); Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos, chamber opera (1966); The Tempest, opera (1988-90; Lawrenceville, NJ., July 8, 1994). ORCH.: Symphonic Movement (1954); 5 Movements for Small Orch. (1958); Noises, Sounds, and Sweet Airs for Chamber Orch. (1968); Tuckets and Sennets for Band (1969). CHAMBER: Partita for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord (1953; rev. 1956); Invention for Flute and Piano (1955); String Quartet (1957); Quartet for Violin, Vibraphone, Clarinet, and Cello (1960); Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1962); Variations for 6 Players for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin, and Cello (1963); Divertimento on DiscobbolicFragments for Flute and Piano (1967); Moto perpetuo for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, and Horn (1976); Alonzo’s Grief for Piano (1977); 2 Fanfares for 3 Trumpets and 3 Trombones (1988). VOCAL: Cantata I: The Plot Against the Giant for Women’s Chorus, Clarinet, Cello, and Harp (1956), 17: A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London for Bass and 10 Instruments (1958), and III: Leda and the Swan for Mezzosoprano, Vibraphone, Marimba, and Viola (1961); Spring and Fall: To a Young Child for Voice and Piano (1960; also for Voice and 5 Instruments, 1964); There Was a Little Man for Soprano and Violin (1982); Ariel Music for High Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1987); Ode for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Harp (1989).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire