Roger Sessions

(redirected from Roger Huntington Sessions)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Sessions, Roger


Born Dec. 28, 1896, in Brooklyn, N.Y. American composer.

Sessions studied under H. Parker and E. Bloch. Between 1925 and 1933 he worked intermittently in Florence, Rome, and Berlin. Together with A. Copland, he organized the Copland-Sessions Concerts (1928–31), which made an important contribution to the popularization of contemporary American music. From 1934 to 1942 he headed the International Society for Contemporary Music; he was elected the society’s vice-president in 1953. In 1933, Sessions embarked on a teaching career, lecturing on composition at various universities and conservatories in the USA, as well as in European countries. He visited the USSR in 1958.

Sessions’ musical style is significant in the history of composition and is characterized by an intellectual profundity, expressiveness, and taut counterpoint. His works include the operas The Trial of Lucullus (after B. Brecht, 1947) and Montezuma (1964, West Berlin), Idyll of Theocritus for voice and orchestra (1954), eight symphonies, an orchestral suite for L. N. An-dreev’s play The Black Maskers (1923), a concerto for violin and orchestra (1935), a concerto for piano and orchestra (1956), and instrumental chamber music, including ensemble works. Sessions has also composed choral works and works for piano. Sessions has written textbooks on harmony and works on the aesthetics and theory of music.


The Musical Experience of Composer, Performer, Listener. Princeton, N.J., 1950.
Questions About Music. Cambridge, Mass., 1970.


Schubart. M. A. “Roger Sessions.” Musical Quarterly, 1946, vol. 32, no. 2.