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George Rochberg (Composer)

Born: July 5, 1918 - Paterson, New Jersey, USA
Died: May 29, 2005, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA

The American composer, George Rochberg, attended the Mannes College of Music, where one of his teachers was George Szell.

George Rochberg abandoned serialism after 1963 when his son died, saying that serialism was empty of expressive emotion and was inadequate to express his grief and rage. By the seventies he was causing controversy with often obviously tonal music. He compared atonality to abstract art and tonality to concrete art and compared his artistic evolution with Philip Guston's, saying "the tension between concreteness and abstraction" is a fundamental issue for both of them (Rochberg, 1992).

George Rochberg is perhaps best known for his "String Quartet No. 6" (recorded by the Concord String Quartet), which includes a movement of variations on the Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D. A few of his works were musical collages of quotations from other composers. Contra Mortem et Tempus, for example, contains passages from Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Edgard Varese and Charles Ives.

George Rochberg was the chairman of the music department at the University of Pennsylvania until 1968, and continued to teach there until 1983.

His later works tend to be neo-romantic (and even neo-Mahlerian) in style.

Major Works

Symphony No. 1
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 5
Violin Concerto
Black Sounds
Transcendental Variations for Strings
String Quartet No. 6


Source: Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works

Title

Chorale Melody

Year

Cantio Sacra Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, transcription for small orchestra (after Samuel Scheidt)

Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz

1953

Links to other Sites

Theodore Presser Company Composer Information: George Rochberg
George Rochberg's Revolution (by Michael Linton, First Things)
George Rochberg (Fugue Masters)
George Rochberg (Paul Sacher)
George Rochberg (Naxos)
George Rochberg (klassiekemusiekegids) [Dutch]
American Composers: George Rochberg (NPRN)

George Rochberg (Wikipedia)
George Rochberg (Answers.com)
Reference.com: George Rochberg
George Rochberg (Bogfind)
George Rochberg (AllExperts)

Bibliography

Rochberg, George (1992). Guston and Me: Digression and Return. Contemporary Music Review 6 (2), 58

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Last update: July 22, 2010 12:50:39