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CLASSICAL  December 2006

CLASSICAL December 2006

Subject:

Composer Daniel Pinkham Dies at Age 83

From:

"Stephen E. Bacher" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 20 Dec 2006 17:11:42 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (66 lines)

http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/5760.html

   Daniel Pinkham, composer, organist, harpsichordist, conductor, early
   music pioneer and longtime music director at Boston's King's Chapel,
   died on December 18 at 83.

   Pinkham was also a longtime faculty member at the New England
   Conservatory, which announced his death, where he taught composition
   since 1959.

   Pinkham was born in 1923, in Lynn, Massachusetts to a family engaged in
   the manufacture of patent medicines. He studied organ and harmony at
   Phillips Academy, Andover, with Carl F. Pfatteicher. "The single
   event that changed my life was a concert [at Andover] by the Trapp
   Family Singers in 1939, right after they had escaped from Germany,"
   Pinkham was quoted in a statement as saying. "Here, suddenly, I was
   hearing clarity, simplicity. It shaped my whole outlook."

   At Harvard his first composition teacher was Walter Piston; he also
   studied with Aaron Copland, Archibald T. Davison and A. Tillman
   Merritt. He completed a bachelor's degree in 1943 and a master's in
   1944. He also studied harpsichord with Putnam Aldrich and Wanda
   Landowska, and organ with E. Power Biggs. At Tanglewood, he studied
   composition with Samuel Barber, Arthur Honegger and Nadia Boulanger.

   Pinkham was organist of King's Chapel, where he was music director
   until a few years ago. Much of his music was written for use in church
   services or other ceremonial occasions, such as his Christmas, advent
   and wedding cantatas.

   He performed regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as an
   organist and wrote extensively for the organ, as a solo instrument and
   as accompaniment for chorus, solo voices and other instruments. The
   remainder of his repertoire included orchestral works, chamber music,
   works for piano, harpsichord and other solo instruments, theatrical
   works with music, and soundtracks for television films.

   He said of his own music, "One of the most important influences on my
   music has been my contact with performers, and I am most happy when
   writing for a specific performance. This, I suppose, explains why I
   have no unperformed music. I have always been interested in making
   music technically accessible."

   In 1981, former Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer wrote that
   Pinkham's music "doesn't turn up very often on the programs of
   societies for new music because it doesn't have to live in that
   ghetto-he is among the most-performed American composers, and people
   like his music."

   Pinkham also wrote for children, most notably with his 2003 Make Way
   for Ducklings.

   In 1946 Pinkham was appointed to the faculty of the Boston Conservatory
   of Music. He also taught at Simmons College and Boston University and
   was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 1957-1958. That
   year, he joined the faculty of NEC, where he taught harmony and music
   history in addition to composition.

   Pinkham's scholarship and work were recognized with a Fulbright
   Fellowship in 1950 and a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1962. He
   received honorary degrees from NEC as well as from Nebraska Wesleyan
   University, Adrian College, Westminster Choir College, Ithaca College,
   and the Boston Conservatory.

Stephen E. Bacher
[log in to unmask]

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