>From the Juilliard website:
Composer David Diamond Dies at 89
By Ben Mattison
14 Jun 2005
David Diamond, one of the leading American composers of the 20th
century, died yesterday at his home near Rochester, New York,
the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports. He was 89.
At a time when serial music was dominant in American composition,
Diamond was a neo-Romantic with an ear for melody. In an interview
with the Seattle Times last month, he said, "I have always thought
music had to have strong melodic contours, good rhythmic variety
and counterpoint, or it would make no dent on people.... Our
society needs consonance; it was always a must, because of the
communicative power of that kind of music."
Diamond's many works included 11 symphonies, ten string quartets,
art songs, choral music, solo prices for piano and string
instruments, sonatas, and more. Perhaps his most-performed piece
was Rounds for String Orchestra.
Born in Rochester in 1915, Diamond studied for a year at the
Eastman School of Music before leaving for New York, where he
worked with Roger Sessions at the New Music School and Dalcroze
Institute. In 1935, he traveled to Paris, where he studied with
In the 1940s, he returned to the United States and wrote the
first of his important works, including his first four symphonies
and first three string quartets-the third of which won the 1947
New York Music Critics' Circle Award-as well as Rounds. He moved
to Italy in the 1950s and remained there until 1966. Shortly
after his return to the United States, Leonard Bernstein and the
New York Philharmonic premiered his Symphony No. 5 and his Piano
Concerto. Diamond, Bernstein said at the time, was a "vital
branch in the stream of American music."
Diamond was chairman of the composition department at the Manhattan
School of Music in the late 1960s; he taught at the Juilliard
School from 1973 to 1997. He received the William Schuman medal,
the gold medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the
Edward MacDowell Award, and the National Medal of the Arts.
According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Diamond did not wish
to have a funeral, but Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwarz,
a champion of his music, plans to organize a memorial concert.