The following is a guest post from Senior Music Specialist Kate Rivers:
Steven Stucky’s pencil sketches for The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts). The comic work, with libretto by Jeremy Denk, was premiered at the Ojai Music Festival in 2014. Steven Stucky Papers.
November 7 marks the birthday of renowned American composer, educator, conductor, and writer Steven Stucky (1949-2016), who would have turned seventy today. This remarkable Grammy- and Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer was a valued, long-time friend of the Music Division, and we are honored that he chose the Library of Congress as the permanent home for his music manuscripts and papers.
Always generous with his time and talents, Steve worked with the Music Division on committees and projects through the years, but he rarely took time away from business assignments to browse materials in our collections. On his most recent visit to the Library, we were determined to show Steve a few unexpected items that we hoped would remind him of the breadth and depth of our collections—and perhaps would entice him to come back and linger on a future trip to Washington. On a whim, the first box we pulled was from our Oscar Hammerstein II Collection, one filled with pencil-sketched words to be sung in Maine accents, clipped newspaper recipes for cooking lobster, and information about the mill industry in New England—all kept in Hammerstein’s quirky background ‘research’ files used in the creation of the great show Carousel. Steve was naturally a quiet fellow, but he became utterly silent as he examined the folders. His reaction caused us to think that we totally failed, having missed the mark with this odd box of papers. But it turns out that he was stunned at the sights before him. Steve reported that Carousel was the first stage performance he remembered from his mid-west childhood, a recurring staple from a summer touring production. It was his mother’s favorite show, and their ritual attendance on multiple evenings each season played a big part in Steve’s musical ‘muscle memory.’ He loved seeing hidden elements behind the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that he knew so well.
We’re pleased to remember that of the millions of items in our collections, we stumbled on the right thing for our friend. Happy Birthday, Steve!
From his Appalachian Spring ballet score for thirteen instruments (1944), Aaron Copland extracted an orchestral suite in 1945. A third configuration, requested by Eugene Ormandy in 1954, combines elements of both suite and ballet.
You can’t beat the next two weeks of Concerts from the Library of Congress programming, during which we will offer eight musical experiences that showcase a breadth of artistry and perspectives. Here’s a quick run-down so you can make your plans: Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7pm Montpelier Room, Madison Building “Diversity and the Birth of […]
The following is a guest post from Ben West, a writer, director, producer, performer, and musical theatre historian. His current stage project is The Show Time! Trilogy, three new documentary musicals charting the evolution and cultural impact of the American musical: Show Time! The First 100 Years of the American Musical, 45 Minutes from Coontown, […]
I am happy to introduce Melinda Gonzalez, a full-time intern working with me through December on an inventory of the Music Division’s primary sources related to Latin American composers. Melinda is here in the Music Division through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities National Internship Program (HNIP).
For National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15-October 15, let’s dig in with Library of Congress Music Division commissions. Part 2 of this two-part series includes commissioned composers from Spain, Central America, and South America.
Now that it’s National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15-October 15, let’s dig in with Music Division commission firsts by country! Part 1 of this two-part series includes commissioned composers from North America and the Caribbean.
The following is a guest post from Senior Music Specialist Susan Clermont. When she was 40 years of age, Venetian virtuoso singer and gifted composer Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) published her seventh book of musical compositions titled Diporti di Euterpe (The Pleasures of Euterpe) in 1659. Only two complete copies of this imprint are extant today – […]
One year ago, I published a blog post declaring my excitement about a one-year countdown to Clara Schumann’s 200th birthday and highlighted Schumann’s manuscript cadenzas from the Library’s Whittall Foundation Collection, material that is digitized and available online. Now, finally, Clara’s big day has arrived! 200 years ago, in Leipzig, Germany, Marianne Tromlitz gave birth […]
In 2007, the Library presented back-to-back concerts with two quintessential New Orleans pianists Henry Butler and Allen Toussaint. Mr. Toussaint was in the news recently because his legacy studio recordings, long thought lost in the flood from Hurricane Katrina, turned up at a swap meet in Torrance, California. Toussaint wrote, arranged and produced many hits […]