AuthorLarson, Preston K.
AdvisorJohnson. Roy A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWilliam Bolcom was born May 26, 1938, in Seattle Washington. Formal training in music began at age eleven at the University of Washington School of Music with Bertha Poncy Jacobson (piano), John Verrall (composition), and George McKay (composition). In 1958 he began study with Darius Milhaud, first at Mills College, Oakland, and later at the Paris Conservatory; while in Paris he also studied aesthetics with Olivier Messiaen and counterpoint with Simon Ple-Caussade. Stanford University awarded him a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition in 1964, and since that time he has taught at Queen's College in New York, the New York University School of Arts and Yale Drama School; he was also composer-in-residence at the New York University School of the Arts from 1969 to 1970. He is presently associate professor of composition at the University of Michigan School of Music, a position he has held since 1973. Bolcom is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He won second prize in composition at the Paris Conservatory, and he has held fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and the New York State Council for the Arts. He has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and commissions have come from the Domaine Musical (Berlin), Julliard Repertory Ensemble, the Koussevitsky Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Milhaud, Rochberg and Boulez have exerted a significant influence on Bolcom's development as a composer, and his compositions incorporate a wide variety of techniques and procedures ranging from popular music and improvisation to microtones and serialism. In 1979 eight of Bolcom's new works were premiered, and his other compositions continue to be performed widely. His works are published by Bowdoin College Press, Jobert, Theodore Presser, Nonesuch, Philips, Advance, and CMS-Desto. As pianist and accompanist for his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, he is recorded on Columbia, Jazzology, and Nonesuch. A prolific writer on musical subjects, Bolcom has written articles for Stereo Review and Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians; he is also co-author with Robert Kimball of Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake, a book about Eubie Blake and Nobble Sissle's contribution to the black musical theatre of the '20's (New York: Viking Press, 1973). Bolcom has written over a hundred compositions ranging from stage works to carillon music. His theatre works include Theatre of the Absurd, a work for actors, musicians and tape, and he has completed a half-length version of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera which was left unfinished by Darius Milhaud in 1937. He has produced a large body of piano literature including twelve Etudes, numerous rags, and a work for two pianos, harpsichord, and harmonium. Orchestral works, chamber music, choral music, violin pieces and works for organ are also represented in his output.
Degree ProgramGraduate College