Skip to main content

Rochberg, George 1918-2005

Rochberg, George 1918-2005


Born July 5, 1918, in Paterson, NJ; died May 29, 2005, in Bryn Mawr, PA; married Gene Rosenfeld, 1941; children: Paul, Francesca. Education: Trained at Mannes School of Music and Curtis Institute of Music.


Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA, teacher, 1948-54; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, faculty member, 1960-79, Annenberg Professor of the Humanities, 1979-83, professor emeritus, 1983-2005, chair of music department until 1968. Prolific composer. Exhibitions: "Varieties of the Compositional Experience: George Rochberg at 71," an exhibition of scores, documents, and other memorabilia, was produced at Lincoln Center, New York, NY, by the Music Division of the New York Public Library, 1989-90. Military service: U.S. Army, Infantry; served during World War II.


Fulbright fellow, 1950-51; fellow at American Academy in Rome, 1950-52; George Gershwin Memorial Award, 1952, for "Night Music"; award from Society for the Publication of American Music, 1956, for "String Quartet No. 1"; Guggenheim fellow, 1956-57, 1966-67; first prize, Italian ISCM International Music Competition, 1959, for "Cheltenham Concerto"; Naumburg Recording Award, 1961, for "Symphony No. 2"; Prix Italia, 1966, for "Black Sounds"; Naumburg Chamber Composition Award, 1972, for "String Quartet No. 3"; grants from National Endowment for the Arts, 1972, 1973-74; first prize, Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, 1979, for "String Quartet No. 4"; gold medal, Brandeis Creative Arts Awards, 1985; Lancaster Symphony Composers Award, 1986; Andre and Clara Mertens Contemporary Composer Award, University of Bridgeport, 1987; Alfred I. DuPont Award for outstanding conductors and composers, Delaware Symphony, 1987; Bellagio artist in residence, 1991; distinguished achievement award, Longy School, 1997; Grammy Award nominations, National Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences, 1998, for "String Quartet No. 3," and 2004, for "Symphony No. 5"; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, lifetime achievement award, 1999; Deems Taylor Award, 2006, for The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer's View of Twentieth-Century Music; honorary degrees from Montclair State College, 1962, Philadelphia Musical Academy (now University of the Arts), 1964, University of Michigan, 1980, University of Pennsylvania, 1985, Curtis Institute of Music, 1988, and Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1994.


The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer's View of Twentieth-Century Music, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 1984, expanded edition, 2005.

Prolific composer of works for chamber ensemble, orchestra, and various smaller combinations of instruments; composer of quartets, duets, sonatas, concertos, and songs, including vocal works. Works have been recorded on many albums, for Albany Records, Capra Records, New World Records, Nonesuch Records, and many others.

Most of Rochberg's works are held in the archive of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland; other material can be found in the Music Division of the New York Public Library, New York, NY, the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts, New York, NY, the University of Pennsylvania and Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, and the City University of New York.

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rochberg, George 1918-2005." Contemporary Authors. . 19 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Rochberg, George 1918-2005." Contemporary Authors. . (January 19, 2019).

"Rochberg, George 1918-2005." Contemporary Authors. . 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.