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Sessions, Roger (Huntington)

Sessions, Roger (Huntington) (b Brooklyn, NY, 1896; d Princeton, NJ, 1985). Amer. composer and teacher. Began mus. studies early and wrote opera at age of 13. Mus. faculty Smith Coll., Northampton, Mass., 1917–21, studying privately with Bloch. Became ass. to Bloch at Cleveland Inst. of Mus., 1921–5. Lived in Florence, Rome, Berlin 1927–33. His first sym. (1927) perf. Boston 1927 and at ISCM Fest., Geneva, 1929. Taught Boston Univ. 1933–5, Princeton Univ. 1935–45; prof. of mus., Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, 1945–51; prof. of mus., Princeton, 1953–65. Taught at Juilliard Sch. 1965–85. Pupils incl. Babbitt, Imbrie, and Diamond. Sessions's mus. has been described as ‘constructively eclectic’, drawing on the chief 20th-cent. influences but retaining a serious individual stamp. Author of several books, and tireless champion of contemporary mus. Prin. works:

OPERAS: Lancelot and Elaine (1910); The Trial of Lucullus (1947); Montezuma (1941–63).ORCH.: syms.: No.1 (1927), No.2 (1944–6), No.3 (1957), No.4 (1958), No.5 (1964), No.6 (1966), No.7 (1967), No.8 (1968), No.9 (1975–8); vn. conc. (1930–5, with orch. without vns. and with 5 cl.); Idyll of Theocritus, sop., orch. (1953–4); pf. conc. (1956); Divertimento (1959–60); Rhapsody (1970); conc. for vn., vc., and orch. (1971); Concertino (1972); Concerto for Orchestra (1979–81).CHAMBER MUSIC: str. qts.: No.1 (1936), No.2 (1951); 3 vn. sonatas (1916, 1953, 1981 (unfinished)); pf. trio (1916); solo vn. sonata (1953); str. quintet (1957–8); 6 Pieces for vc. (1966); Canons, str. qt. (1971).CHORAL: Turn, O Libertad, ch. and 2 pf. or orch. (1944); Mass (1955); When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, soloists, ch., orch. (1964–70).PIANO: 3 sonatas (1927–30, 1946, 1964–5); From my Diary (1937–9); 5 Pieces (1975); Waltz (1977–8).

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Sessions, Roger

Roger Sessions, 1896–1985, American composer and teacher, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. Sessions was a pupil of Horatio Parker at Yale and of Ernest Bloch. He taught (1917–21) at Smith, leaving to teach at the Cleveland Institute of Music as Bloch's assistant. With Aaron Copland he organized (1928) the Copland-Sessions Concerts for contemporary music. In 1935, after years abroad, Sessions joined the faculty of Princeton. He was professor of music at the Univ. of California from 1944 to 1952, when he returned to Princeton. His first major work was his incidental music (1923) for Leonid Andreyev's Black Maskers. Other important works are chorale preludes for organ; eight symphonies (1927, 1946, 1957, 1958, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968); a violin concerto (1935); a piano concerto (1956); and two string quartets (1936, 1950). Sessions's music, at first romantic and harmonic, became austere, complex, and highly individual. He wrote two operas (1947, 1963), a harmony textbook (1951), and several essays.

See his The Musical Experience (1950), Questions about Music (1970); studies by Cone (1979) and Olmstead (1987).

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Sessions, Roger

Sessions, Roger (1896–1985) US composer whose complex and highly individual works include a Violin Concerto (1935), eight symphonies, a concertino for chamber orchestra (1972), and various piano and organ works.

http://www.uncwil.edu/music/sessionssociety

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