William Schuman was born on August 4, 1910. Brother Schuman was initiated into the Beta Gamma
William Schuman was born on August 4, 1910.
Brother Schuman was initiated into the Beta Gamma Chapter at Columbia University in 1930. Known as a prolific American composer, educator, and administrator, Schuman is often noted for his adaptation of European models to American themes. He began composing in high school, forming a jazz ensemble in which he played violin and banjo. He would later earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University Teachers College and study at Juilliard under the composer, Roy Harris.
After holding a teaching position at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, Schuman was named the president of the Julliard School of Music. While there, he brought about academic reform and added several prominent American composers to the faculty. Schuman wrote works in virtually every musical genre, each mirroring his strong personality in their sharply defined sense of structure, line, and dynamism. The secular cantata A Free Song received the first Pulitzer Prize in music in 1943.
“In the great stream that is the history of music, some composers add drops of water, others add buckets. When the final catalog is finished, I just hope to have put some drops in the stream. That’s enough, that’s enough to be optimistic about.”
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