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William Schuman


About this Artist

Born: 1910, New YorkDied: 1992, New York

"Listening to music is a skill that is acquired through experience and learning. Knowledge enhances enjoyment."

Schuman began his career in popular music, playing in jazz bands and writing songs to lyrics by Edward Marks and Frank Loesser while still a teenager. After hearing Toscanini conduct the New York Philharmonic in 1930, he switched his interest to classical composition, studying at Juilliard and Columbia. He composed music in most classical genres, but is best known for his orchestral works, which include nine symphonies. His music flows easily in a tonal idiom - Schuman thought that melody was the main element of his work - with vigorous rhythm. He treated many specifically American subjects and won the first Pulitzer Prize in music in 1943. Schuman was also a highly influential teacher and administrator, serving as president of both Juilliard and Lincoln Center.

Further listening:

Symphonies No. 3 (1941), No. 5 (1943),

No. 8 (1962)

Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic

(Sony Classical)