Virgil Thomson: Composer on the Aisle

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9780393040067: Virgil Thomson: Composer on the Aisle
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The first definitive biography of the acclaimed American composer and music critic describes Thomson's youth in turn-of-the-century Kansas City, his long struggle to accept his homosexuality, his musical studies, his rivalry with colleagues, and his lasting influence on younger composers.

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Best known for an opera he set to Gertrude Stein's text, Four Saints in Three Acts (1934), and for the Pulitzer Prize-winning score of the documentary Louisiana Story (1948), composer Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) was also an unswerving champion of modern American classical music during his tenure as the powerful music critic of the New York Herald Tribune (1940-54). His works' tonality, stress on simplicity, and skillful use of traditional American tunes strongly influenced Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and many others. Lively prose evokes the crusty character of an American original in this enjoyably opinionated biography.

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Anthony Tommasini is a music critic for the New York Times.

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9780393318586: Virgil Thomson: Composer on the Aisle

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