Works performed by Earplay:

Infanta Marina

American composer Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) was, along with William Schuman and Walter Piston, one of the foremost representatives of what has become known, somewhat inappropriately, as the American academic school of composition. Born in Philadelphia during the First World War, Persichetti began studying music at the age of five, taking lessons in piano, organ, and, later, theory and composition. Persichetti entered Combs College of Music, studying with composer Russel King Miller while still attending public school, and in 1935 he took a BM in composition from Combs and was appointed Head of Music Theory at Combs immediately after graduating.

Persichetti accepted an invitation to take over as head of theory and composition at the Philadelphia Conservatory in 1941, and in 1947 he joined the composition faculty of the Juilliard School. Three Guggenheim Fellowships, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Brandeis University Creative Award, the first ever Kennedy Center Friedham Award, and the Juilliard Publication award are just some of his more noteworthy honors.

Persichetti's compositional language is a panorama of twentieth century techniques; he moves between tonality, atonality, polytonality and modality with fluency. In addition to his ceaseless activities as a composer and educator, Persichetti found the time to write an important textbook on modern compositional practice, Twentieth-Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice, and a 1954 biography of composer William Schuman.

[from program for November 12, 2007 concert]