1st Edition

Roger Sessions A Biography

By Andrea Olmstead Copyright 2008
    464 Pages
    by Routledge

    460 Pages
    by Routledge

    Recognized as the primary American symphonist of the 20th century, Roger Sessions (1896-1985) is one of the leading representatives of high modernism. His stature among American composers rivals Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and Elliott Carter. Sessions was awarded two Pulitzer prizes, election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, winning the Brandeis Creative Arts Award, the Gold Medal of the American Academy, and a MacDowell Medal, in addition to 14 honorary doctorates.

    Roger Sessions: A Biography brings together considerable previously unpublished archival material, such as letters, lectures, interviews, and articles, to shed light on the life and music of this major American composer. Andrea Olmstead, a teaching colleague of Sessions at Juilliard and the leading scholar on his music, has written a complete biography charting five touchstone areas through Sessions’s eighty-eight years: music, religion, politics, money, and sexuality.

    Contents Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: Family History Forty Acres and Phelps House--Archibald Sessions--417 Washington Avenue--109 Elm Street--Cloyne, Kingsley, and Kent--Harvard--Harvard Musical Review Chapter Two: Yale through The Cleveland Institute Yale--World War I--Barbara Foster--George Bartlett--Ernest Bloch--Cleveland Institute of Music--The Black Maskers--Friends--Summer of 1924--Stravinsky Chapter Three: The European Period Father figures--Florence --Symphony No. 1--Boulanger and Copland--The American Academy in Rome--Berlin Chapter Four: The Decade 1936-1946 Marriage and the Violin Concerto--David Diamond--Princeton--Symphony No. 2 Chapter Five: The Trial of Lucullus through Montezuma Berkeley--The Trial of Lucullus-- Schoenberg and Dallapiccola--Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4--Montezuma Chapter Six: The Last Two Decades


    Currently the Handel & Haydn Society's Christopher Hogwood Research Fellow, Andrea Olmstead has  published three books on Roger Sessions and Juilliard: A History. She has also written numerous articles, program and liner notes, and produced CDs. Olmstead taught Music History for thirty-two years and is married to composer Larry Bell.