Rorem, Ned

Rorem, Ned,

1923–, American composer and author, b. Richmond, Ind., grad. Juilliard (B.A. 1946, M.A. 1948). He is basically romantic in approach, determinedly tonal, and often lyrical. Although he composed a wide range of works, including chamber and choral music, symphonies, and tone poems, Rorem is best known for his vocal works, e.g., Air Music (1975; Pulitzer Prize), 5 Prayers for the Young (1977), Evidence of Things Unseen (1997), and the operas Miss Julie (1965), based on StrindbergStrindberg, Johan August
, 1849–1912, Swedish dramatist and novelist. He was a master of the Swedish language and an innovator in dramatic and literary styles.
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's drama, and Our Town (2006), adapted from Thornton WilderWilder, Thornton Niven,
1897–1975, American playwright and novelist, b. Madison, Wis., grad. Yale (B.A., 1920), Princeton (M.A., 1925). He received most of his early education in China, where his father was the U.S. consul-general in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
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's play. From his Paris Diary (1966) to Knowing When to Stop (1994) and Lies: A Diary, 1986–1999 (2000), Rorem published a series of sexually explicit, urbane, and deftly written journals and memoirs. By his 90s, Rorem had retired from writing music and prose.


See A Ned Rorem Reader (2001).

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Rorem, Ned

(1923–  ) composer, writer; born in Richmond, Ind. After musical studies in Chicago, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard, and privately with Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland, he spent most of the 1950s in Paris, then returned to teach briefly at the Universities of Buffalo and Utah. Best known for his many songs in a lyrical and mildly modernist style, he also wrote effective instrumental music such as Air Music (winner of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize). In addition to his music, he published a number of his journals, such as The Paris Diary (1966), and numerous articles famous for their biting "insider" views of contemporary music and the art world.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.