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American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: D (Part 1 – Dello Joio, Norman)

Norman Dello Joio (born Nicodemo DeGioio) was born in New York City in January 1913. His father and grandfather had been church musicians, and Norman was set to follow their footsteps, as he became the organist and choir director at age 14. When he was 26, he received a scholarship to attend Julliard, where he studied with Bernard Wagenaar. A few years later, in 1941, he studied with Paul Hindemith, who encouraged him to foster his tonal compositional style—something quite unfashionable for the mid-20th century. In 1944 he became a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, and later Mannes College of Music and Boston University.

In 1957 Dello Joio won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Meditations on Ecclesiastes and in 1964-65 he won an Emmy for his composition for the television special The Louvre. Dello Joio retired from academia in 1978, although he still remained active as a composer for the rest of his life. He passed away at age 95 in East Hampton, NY in 2008.

Dello Joio was most well-known for his choral music, although a piece he wrote for concert band—Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn—is one of the most-performed and most famous pieces for concert band in the repertoire. Below you will find works by Dello Joio in the NLS Music Collection; please get in contact with us if you would like to order any of these pieces.

For Piano

Diversions, a set of five pieces for piano in bar over bar format (BRM26988)

Family Album: Children’s Pieces for Piano Four-Hands (BRM28203)

Five Images, for piano four hands (BRM28322)

Lyric Pieces for the Young (BRM28574)

Lyric Pieces for the Young (large print, LPM00591)

Nocturne in F-sharp minor (BRM24136)

Piano Sonata No. 3 (BRM24128)

Suite for the Young (BRM28783)

For Choir or Voice

A Christmas Carol for SATB choir, accompaniment not included (BRM08280)

The Holly Infant’s Lullaby, for SATB choir, accompaniment not included (BRM20412)

There is a Lady Sweet and Kind, for medium voice and piano (BRM28911)

Three Songs of Adieu, for high voice and piano (BRM25708)

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