Morton Gould

Morton Gould

[goold]

Morton Gould (December 10, 1913February 21, 1996) was an American pianist, composer, conductor, and arranger.

Born in Richmond Hill, New York, Gould was recognized early as a child prodigy with abilities in improvisation and composition. His first composition was published at age six. Gould studied at the Institute of Musical Art, although his most important teachers were Abby Whiteside and Vincent Jones.

During the Depression, Gould, while a teenager, worked in New York City playing piano in movie theaters, as well as with vaudeville acts. When Radio City Music Hall opened, Gould was hired as the staff pianist. By 1935, he was conducting and arranging orchestral programs for New York's WOR radio station, where he reached a national audience via the Mutual Broadcasting System, combining popular programming with classical music.

In the 1940s, Gould appeared on the Cresta Blanca Carnival program as well as The Chrysler Hour on CBS where he reached an audience of millions.

Gould composed Broadway scores, such as Billion Dollar Baby, Arms and the Girl, and film music; for films such as Delightfully Dangerous, Cinerama Holiday, and Windjammer; for television; and for ballet scores including Interplay, Fall River Legend, and I'm Old Fashioned.

Gould's music, commissioned by symphony orchestras all over the United States, was also commissioned by the Library of Congress, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the American Ballet Theatre, and the New York City Ballet. His ability to seamlessly combine multiple musical genres into formal classical structure, while maintaining their distinctive elements, was unsurpassed, and Gould received three commissions for the United States Bicentennial.

As a conductor, Gould led all of the major American orchestras as well as those of Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Australia. With his orchestra, he recorded music of many classical standards, including Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" on which he also played the piano. He won a Grammy Award in 1966 for his recording of Charles Ives' first symphony, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1983, Gould received the American Symphony Orchestra League's Gold Baton Award. In 1986, he was president of ASCAP, a position he held until 1994. In 1986 he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Incorporating new styles into his repertoire as they emerged, Gould incorporated wildly disparate elements, including a rapping narrator and a singing fire department into commissions for the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. In 1993, his work "Ghost Waltzes" was commissioned for the ninth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In 1994, Gould received the Kennedy Center Honor in recognition of lifetime contributions to American culture.

In 1995, Gould was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Stringmusic, a composition commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra in recognition of the final season of director Mstislav Rostropovich. In 2005, he was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was a member of the board of the American Symphony Orchestra League and of the National Endowment for the Arts music panel. Most of his compositions and arrangements are former RCA Records recordings today, some of which are available from BMG.

Gould died in 1996 in Orlando, Florida at age 82.

Work on Broadway

Works

  • Abby Variations (piano) (1964)
  • A Capella (1987)
  • Adeste Fidelis
  • American Ballads, Settings of American Tunes for Orchestra (1976)
  • American Caprice
  • American Salute (1943)
  • American Sing: Settings of Folk Songs (1984)
  • American Symphonette no 2 (1939)
  • American Youth March
  • Americana
  • The Anniversary Rag (piano) (1994)
  • Apple Waltzes (In Tribute to George Balanchine) (7 movements from Audubon) (1969)
  • At the Piano (1964)
  • Audubon (Birds of America) (1969)
  • Ballad for Band (1946)
  • Battle Hymn (1950)
  • Benny's Gig (1962)
  • Big City Blues (1950)
  • Boogie Woogie Etude (for piano and orchestra) (1943)
  • Buckaroo Blues (1954)
  • Burchfield Gallery (1978–1979)
  • Café Rio (1957)
  • Calypso Souvenir (1964)
  • Celebration Strut for Orchestra (1981)
  • 'Cellos (1984)
  • Centennial Symphony, Gala for Band (1983)
  • Cheers! — A Celebration March (1979)
  • Christmas Time (1992)
  • Cinerama Holiday: Suite (1955)
  • Classical Variations on Colonial Themes (1984)
  • Columbia: Broadsides for Orchestra (1967)
  • Come Up From the Valley, Children (1964)
  • Concertette for Viola and Band (1943)
  • Concerto Concertante (for violin and orchestra) (1981–1982)
  • Concerto for Flute (1984)
  • Concerto for Orchestra (1944)
  • Concerto for Piano (1938)
  • Concerto for Viola (1943)
  • Cowboy Rhapsody
  • Dance Gallery
  • Dance Variations for Two Pianos & Orchestra (1953)
  • Dancing Days (1966)
  • Declaration: Suite (1956)
  • Derivations for Solo Clarinet and Band (1955)
  • Deserted Ballroom
  • Dialogues (for piano and orchestra) (1958)
  • Diversions: for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra (1990)
  • Dramatic Fanfares from CBS-TV documentary “World War I” (orchestra) (1964)
  • Duo for Flute and Clarinet (1982)
  • Fall River Legend (ballet) (1947)
  • Family Album: Suite (1951)
  • Fanfare for Freedom (1942)
  • Festive Fanfare (1991)
  • Festive Music (1964)
  • Flares and Declamations (1987)
  • Flourishes and Galop (1983)
  • Folk Suite (1941)
  • Formations (1964)
  • Foster Gallery (1939)
  • Ghost Waltzes (piano) (1991)
  • Global Greetings for Symphonic Band (1994)
  • Guajira (for clarinet and orchestra) (1949)
  • Hail to a First Lady (1991)
  • Hamma'ariv aravim (1947)
  • Harvest (1945)
  • Holiday Music (1947)
  • Holocaust: Suite (from the NBC-TV series) (1978)
  • Home for Christmas
  • A Homespun Overture (1939)
  • Hoofer Suite (for Tap Dancer and Orchestra) (1956)
  • Hosedown: A Firefighter Fable (1995)
  • Housewarming (1982)
  • I’m Old Fashioned, Astaire Variations (1983)
  • Interplay (American Concertette) (for piano and orchestra) (1945)
  • Inventions (for Four Pianos and Orchestra)(1953)
  • It's A Living
  • Jekyll and Hyde Variations (1956)
  • Jericho
  • The Jogger and the Dinosaur (for rapper and orchestra) (1992)
  • Latin American Symphonette (Symphonette No. 4) (1940)
  • Lincoln Legend (1942)
  • Main Street March
  • Main Street Waltz
  • Mini-Suite for Band (1968)
  • Minstrel Show (1946)
  • Minute-Plus Waltz/Rag (1990)
  • New China March
  • No Longer Very Clear (for baritone or mezzo-soprano and piano) (1994)
  • Notes of Remembrance (1989)
  • Of Time and the River (1945)
  • Parade (for Percussion) (1956)
  • Patterns (piano) (1984)
  • Philharmonic Waltzes (1948)
  • Pieces of China (piano) (1985)
  • Prelude and Toccata
  • Prisms (1962)
  • Quotations (1983)
  • Rag Waltz (piano) (1984)
  • Recovery Music (for Clarinet) (1984)
  • Red Cavalry March
  • Rhythm Gallery (1959)
  • Saint Lawrence Suite for Band (1958)
  • Salutations (1966)
  • Santa Fé Saga (1956)
  • Serenade of Carols (1949)
  • Show Piece for Orchestra (1954)
  • Something To Do -- Labor Cantata (1976)
  • Sonata No. 1 (piano) (1930)
  • Sonata No. 2 (piano) (1932)
  • Sonata No. 3 (piano) (1936)
  • A Song of Freedom (1941)
  • Soundings (1969)
  • Spirituals in Five Movements (1941)
  • Spirituals for String Orchestra and Harp (1959)
  • StringMusic (1998)
  • Suite (for Cello and Piano) (1981)
  • Suite (for Violin and Piano) (1945)
  • Symphonette No. 3 (Third American Symphonette)
  • Symphonic Serenade (195?)
  • Symphony no 1 (1943)
  • Symphony for Band Mvt. 1: Epitaphs; Mvt. 2: Marches
  • Symphony no 2 "Symphony on Marching Tunes" (1944)
  • Symphony no 3 (1946)
  • Symphony no 4 "West Point" (1952)
  • Symphony of Spirituals (1975)
  • Tap Dance Concerto (1952)
  • Ten for Deborah (piano) (1965)
  • There Are (No) Children Here (1996)
  • Troubadour Music (1969)
  • Tuba Suite (1971)
  • Two for Chorus (1966)
  • Two Pianos (1987)
  • Venice for Double Orchestra and Brass Choirs (1967)
  • Vivaldi Gallery for String Quartet and Divided Orchestra (1968)
  • Windjammer (1958)
  • World War I: Selections (Music for the CBS-TV series) (1964)

External links

Interviews

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