Rochberg, George 1918-2005

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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.

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Rochberg, George 1918-2005

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