He was warned. He was given an explanation. Nevertheless, he persisted. That’s pretty much the story of how John Corigliano, Junior became a famous American composer. Corigliano’s father, John Corigliano, Senior, was the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic from 1943 to 1966, and when Junior said he wanted to become a composer, his dad tried to warn him off. Corigliano Junior recalls: “He did everything he could to discourage me. He knew firsthand that the composer was the lowest man in the musical hierarchy. ‘Performers don’t want to bother with your work, and audiences don’t want to hear it. So what are doing it for?’ he would say.” After graduating from college, John Junior got a teaching job and made ends meet by working at classical music radio stations, producing recordings for Columbia Masterworks, and assisting Leonard Bernstein with his Young People’s Concerts. He also persisted in composing. In 1964, one of his early chamber works, a Sonata for Violin and Piano, was premiered in Italy at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto. It won a chamber music prize, and its success helped launch young Mr. Corigliano as a composer to watch. Since then, Corigliano. has been awarded the Grawmeyer Award, five Grammys for recordings of his music, an Oscar for “Best Film Score,” and the Pulitzer Prize. On today’s date, composer John Corigliano, Jr. is celebrating his 80th birthday. Congratulations, and here’s a toast to persistence!
6 months ago |