Works for the Viola by Pulitzer Prize Winning Composers: An Annotated Bibliography

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The Pulitzer awards in music have been representative of America’s best composers since 1917. Twenty-eight Pulitzer Prize winning composers, three Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship recipients, and two Pulitzer Special Award winners have written compositions for viola solo, viola with keyboard, and for viola with orchestra. This annotated bibliography catalogues each Pulitzer award winner’s compositions for these instrumentations. Each entry includes information concerning the composition’s premiere, publication details, dedication, commission, availability, a brief description, a selective bibliography, and a selective discography. Only compositions originally for viola and orchestra, viola and keyboard or viola solo are included. Some works are for another instrument or viola, as indicated by the original composer. Transcriptions by someone other than the original composer and works written for another alto clef instrument, but not for the viola, are not included. Descriptions of compositions were gleaned from music critics, prominent viola performers, presidents of composer societies, the composers themselves, reviews in journals and newspapers, or from performance and recording program notes. A brief history of the Pulitzer Prize in music is included. Publisher contact information, along with their instructions concerning the acquisition of out- of-print, archive or made-to-order requests, is also included.


“The viola – the alto member of the violin family – has had a slow and arduous uphill acceptance to respectability since the late-16th/early-17th centuries. Dr. Weaver has made a vital contribution to violists and scholars with his annotated bibliography. Over the sixty-two years of Pulitzer Prize awards in music, many prestigious and creative people have been recognized. Of the fifty-five American composers who have won Pulitzer Prizes in Music since 1943, twenty-eight of them have written compositions for viola, although only one viola composition, Gail Kubik’s “Symphony Concertante for Trumpet, Viola and Piano”, actually won a Pulitzer Prize. Some of these are important viola works by major composers in various genres: concertos, sonatas, unaccompanied works, suites, duos, works for viola and orchestra and miscellaneous pieces ... As a result of the author’s careful research of these works, the violist will have excellent tools for acquiring them. It is hoped that some of these viola works, not well known and perhaps unfairly neglected, will gain a more important and permanent place in viola life today and for future generations of viola players and the music public in general. Dr. Weaver’s fine work with his excellent scholarship is surely a major step in this direction. It deserves a place in personal and professional libraries.” – (from the Preface) Dr. Myron Rosenblum, Founder and First President of the American Viola Society

“ ... Dr. Weaver’s book focuses on a relatively unknown segment of viola literature and is destined to generate interest, excitement, discovery and discussion that will result in follow-up research and publications on Pulitzer Prize winners and their viola compositions. I would not dare predict how many recitals and lectures this book will spawn, but it is safe to say that a program dedicated to this topic will be featured in future international viola congresses.” – Dwight Pounds, Professor Emeritus, University of Kentucky; Executive Board Member, American Viola Society

“ ... Those violinists who wish to explore unknown territory will find the information that has been unearthed extremely helpful. Not only can the performance track of a piece be followed, but taking the wrong path can be avoided when readers see that works have been withdrawn or lost. This book should inspire violinists, composers and audiences alike to learn more about American music of the twentieth century.” – Ms. Veronica Jacobs, Independent Scholar and Musician

Table of Contents

Preface by Myron Rosenblum
List of Tables
List of Figures
1. The History of the Pulitzer Prize in Music
2. The Annotated Bibliography

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