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Vivian Fine

Vivian Great anchored the initial wave of women composers in twentieth-century America. Before Ruth Crawford (1901 – 1953), “arguably history’s initial major girl composer” in Kyle Gann’s watch, Amy Marcy Cheney (Mrs. H.H.A.) Seaside (1867 – 1944) wrote the first noted symphonic function by an American girl — a Gaelic Symphony in 1896 — but her generally self-taught design, modeled on eighteenth and nineteenth hundred years European masters, created conservative, educational, albeit sometimes captivating, music. Marion Bauer (1887 – 1955), examined in Paris and Berlin aswell as stateside, where she created a keen ear canal for structure in a far more cosmopolitan design than Beach’s, but attained her greatest difference as a instructor and writer. Louise Talma and Miriam Gideon had been both blessed in 1906, even though acknowledged within their lifetimes, have already been practically neglected posthumously. Vivian Good, like Bauer, excelled like a instructor, but was also a proficient pianist, a created organizer, and a precocious college student both of Crawford in the Chicago Musical University, and down the road in NY, of Roger Classes. A five-year-old scholarship or grant college student at CMC, she researched piano with Scriabin’s pupil Djane Lavoie-Herz, and counterpoint with Adolf Weidig. Initially her compositions — some 140 completely — presented tough-minded, dissonant, linear counterpoint, as though to belie her gender. At exactly the same time they shown the sternness of Crawford’s ethic, the encouragement of maverick Henry Cowell, and seven many years of research with Roger Classes, America’s high priest of twelve-tone structure. For a while Good appeared to mellow, implementing a dissonant diatonic design much in fashion between Globe Wars, but came back for an intellectualized type of expressivity that produced few close friends in the spending seats, but gained the respect of co-workers everywhere, even challenging types like Virgil Thomson. In 1931 she transferred to NY, where Aaron Copland quickly enrolled her as an associate of his radical Teen Composer’s Group. In 1935 she wedded sculptor Benjamin Karp, and in 1937 – 1939 became composer and key pad accompanist for the Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm contemporary dance groups. Down the road she constructed for Martha Graham’s and José Limon’s businesses, in 1960 and 1965 respectively. Great didn’t compose her initial orchestral function, the tonal Concertante for Piano and Orchestra, until 1944, a period when she was learning orchestration with conductor George Szell. In the 1947 Capriccio for Oboe and Strings she reverted to atonalism, and implemented it with THE FANTASTIC Wall structure of China. With Sinfonia and Fugato for piano in 1952, she inaugurated some lecture-recitals offering twentieth-century music, an expansion of her second profession as a instructor. Great became an adjunct teacher at NYU (1945 – 1948), the Juilliard College (1948), SUNY Teacher’s University at Potsdam (1951), as well as the Connecticut University College of Dance. Subsequently she was music movie director from the B. de Rothschild Music Basis (1953 – 1960), and vice chief executive from the American Composers Alliance (1961 – 1965), which she co-founded ten years previously. Part-time teaching at Bennington College or university in Vermont resulted in a full-time faculty visit in 1969 until her pension in 1987. In 1983 the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Symphony Orchestra honored her having a retrospective “Vivian Good Week,” that she made up a “substantial” Crisis for Orchestra, and a yr later had written Poetic Fires for piano and orchestra. In 1989, the Boston Symphony Orchestra honored her with weekly, where she was presented with keys to the town. Among her last main functions was Memoirs of Uliana Rooney, a quasi-autobiographical opera about twentieth-century occasions and music. She passed away in her 87th yr, following a car incident near Bennington.

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