- Category : Entertain-Music-Composer/Arranger
- Type : GP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Laws 4
American musician, composer and college professor. Both his parents loved music and he began playing the piano at age 6 with encouragement from his famous musical uncle, King Oliver. He advanced to the violin two years later; and two years after that, age 12, he began mastering the alto saxophone. In high school he joined the marching and jazz bands and formed a jazz quintet, enamored of the music of Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington, which he heard on the radio. In 1938, he graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in music; two years later he had earned his master's in composition from the Eastman School of Music. While attending the Berkshire Festival of 1941 on a scholarship, he met
the composer Paul Hindemith; the pair worked together at Yale the following year. In 1942, he enlisted in the Navy; he was honorably discharged in 1946. He enrolled in Columbia the following year and traveled on fellowships and grants to Europe to continue his musical studies and compositions. He married Barbara Harrison in 1949, who joined him in his residence in Italy, where she taught music at the Anglo-American Overseas School. They had three daughters, Virginia born in Rome in 1951, Melinda in 1957 and Hillary in 1959.
Returning to the US in 1953 he was employed by the BMI record label, as advisor and consultant. He stayed with the company until 1968. During this time he continued composing and taught at universities like Boston University, University of California, and City University of NY. His compositions number 140 and he was the recipient of many awards and honors including a 1965 appointment by the State Department Cultural Exchange for American Composers to Russian; the Ditson, Rosenwald, and Guggenheim
Fellowships, the Prix de Rome (twice), and honorary doctorates. His compositions include: Markings, Of New Horizons, Three Pieces After Blake, Fantasy Variations, Choral Triptych, Umbrian Science, The Operas, Jubilee, and The Juggler of Our Lady.
He died in Englewood, New Jersey on May 20, 1995, age 78.