Hanson, Howard

Hanson, Howard,

1896–1981, American composer, teacher, and conductor, b. Wahoo, Nebr. In 1921, Hanson won the Prix de Rome, becoming the first composer to enter the American Academy there. From 1924–64 he was director of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y.; in 1964 he became director of the Institute of American Music at the Univ. of Rochester. Among his works are the Romantic Symphony (Symphony No. 2., 1930) and his Pulitzer Prize–winning Fourth Symphony (1944). Hanson's opera Merry Mount, based on a tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne, appeared in 1934. His works for chorus and orchestra include The Lament for Beowulf (1925), the Hymn to the Pioneers (1938), the Cherubic Hymn (1950), and The Song of Democracy (1957). Hanson's music was strongly romantic. His influence as a teacher was profound.
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Hanson, Howard

(1896–1981) composer, conductor, educator; born in Wahoo, Nebr. He studied and taught in the U.S.A. before winning the Rome Prize in 1921. He returned from Italy in 1924 to become director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., remaining there until retirement in 1964. His compositions, including seven symphonies and the opera Merry Mount (1934), typically reflect both his Swedish family background and a conservative, Romantic spirit. He was also an important conductor and promoter of American composers, both conservative and innovative.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.