Morten Lauridsen

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Morten Lauridsen
Morten Lauridsen on Waldron.jpg
The composer on Waldron, a remote island in the San Juan Archipelago
Background information
Birth name Morten Johannes Lauridsen
Born (1943-02-27) February 27, 1943 (age 71)
Colfax, Washington
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Composer, Conductor
Years active 1967 – present

Morten Johannes Lauridsen (born February 27, 1943) is an American composer. A National Medal of Arts recipient (2007),[1] he was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1994–2001)[2] and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years.[3]


A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lauridsen worked as a Forest Service firefighter and lookout (on an isolated tower near Mt. St. Helens) before traveling south to study composition at the University of Southern California with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen.[4] He began teaching at USC in 1967 and has been on their faculty ever since.[3]

In 2006, Lauridsen was named an "American Choral Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide".

His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations, including O Magnum Mysterium by the Tiffany Consort, A Company of Voices by Conspirare, Sound The Bells by The Bay Brass, and two all-Lauridsen discs entitled Lux Aeterna by the Los Angeles Master Chorale led by Paul Salamunovich, and Polyphony with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Layton. His principal publishers are Peermusic (New York/Hamburg) and Faber Music (London).

A recipient of numerous grants, prizes, and commissions, Lauridsen chaired the Composition department at the USC Thornton School of Music from 1990–2002 and founded the School’s Advanced Studies program in Film Scoring. He has held residencies as guest composer/lecturer at over seventy universities and has received honorary doctorates from Oklahoma State University, Westminster Choir College and King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Lauridsen now divides his time between Los Angeles and his home in the San Juan Archipelago off the northern coast of Washington State.


The 2012 documentary film Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen portrays the composer at his Waldron Island retreat and in rehearsals in California and Scotland. Commentaries about the composer by poet Dana Gioia, conductor Paul Salamunovich, composer/conductor Paul Mealor, composer Alex Shapiro and conductor Robert Geary, along with performances by the San Francisco Choral Society, University of Aberdeen Choral Society and Orchestra, Con Anima Chamber Choir and Volti, are featured. Works include O Magnum Mysterium, Lux Aeterna, Madrigali, Dirait-on, and Nocturnes, with soundtracks by Polyphony (choir) and the Britten Sinfonia (conducted by Stephen Layton), The Singers:Minnesota Choral Artists (conducted by Matthew Culloton), and the Dale Warland Singers (conducted by Dale Warland).[5]

A Song Without Borders production directed by Michael Stillwater, the film premiered on February 7, 2012 at the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs, CA, was voted Best Documentary at the DC Independent Film Festival (February 29, 2012), Best Documentary/International Subject at the Eugene Film Festival (2012); receiving the Audience Choice Award at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, (October 13, 2013), nominated Best Documentary at Cincinnati Film Festival (2012), receiving Bronze at Oregon Film Awards (2012) and Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Movie Awards (2012). The NYC premiere (March 30, 2012), hosted by Distinguished Concerts International New York, opened a Lauridsen-tribute weekend at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. The film, produced with optional English and German subtitles, is screened at film festivals, cinema theaters and through choral organizations in America and internationally, as well as for DVD home-viewing. The first public television broadcast was in May, 2013, on KCET Southern California.


Choirs around the world perform Lauridsen's works, contributing to his status as "the most-frequently performed American choral composer".[6] Here the Scottish chamber choir Con Anima records Madrigali: Six "FireSongs" on Italian Renaissance Poems, conducted by Paul Mealor, in a 16th-century chapel in Blare's, Scotland. (Image from the 2012 documentary Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen

His seven vocal cycles and two collections—Les Chansons des Roses (Rilke), Mid-Winter Songs (Graves), A Winter Come (Moss), Madrigali: Six "FireSongs" on Italian Renaissance Poems, Nocturnes (Rilke, Neruda and Agee), Cuatro Canciones (Lorca), Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts, Five Songs on American Poems (Moss, Witt, Gioia and Agee) and Lux Aeterna—his series of sacred a cappella motets (O Magnum Mysterium, Ave Maria, O Nata Lux, Ubi Caritas et Amor, and Ave Dulcissima Maria) and numerous instrumental works are featured regularly in concert by distinguished artists and ensembles throughout the world. O Magnum Mysterium, Dirait-on (from Les Chansons des Roses), O Nata Lux (from Lux Aeterna) and Sure On This Shining Night (from Nocturnes) have become the all-time best-selling choral octavos distributed by Theodore Presser, in business since 1783.[7]

His musical approaches are very diverse, ranging from direct to abstract in response to various characteristics (subject matter, language, style, structure, historical era, etc.) of the texts he sets. His Latin sacred settings, such as the Lux Aeterna and motets, often reference Gregorian chant plus Medieval and Renaissance procedures while blending them within a freshly contemporary sound while other works such as the Madrigali and Cuatro Canciones are highly chromatic or atonal. His music has an overall lyricism and is tightly constructed around melodic and harmonic motives.

Referring to Lauridsen's sacred music, the musicologist and conductor Nick Strimple said he was "the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic, (whose) probing, serene work contains an elusive and indefinable ingredient which leaves the impression that all the questions have been answered ...[8] From 1993 Lauridsen's music rapidly increased in international popularity, and by century's end he had eclipsed Randall Thompson as the most frequently performed American choral composer."[9]

Vocal works[edit]

Date Composition/Song Cycle Movements
2012 Prayer (On a Poem by Dana Gioia)
2006 Chanson Eloignee (Rilke)
2005 Nocturnes I. Sa Nuit d'Été (Rainer Maria Rilke)

II. Soneto de la Noche (Pablo Neruda)

III. Sure on this Shining Night (James Agee)

IV. Epilogue: Voici le soir (Rilke, added in 2008)

2004 Ave Dulcissima Maria (written for the Harvard Glee Club)
1999 Ubi Caritas et Amor
1997 Lux Aeterna[10] I. Introitus

II. In Te, Domine, Speravi

III. O Nata Lux

IV. Veni, Sancte Spiritus

V. Agnus Dei

1997 Ave Maria[10]
1994 O Magnum Mysterium[10]
1993 Les Chansons des Roses[10] (settings of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke) I. En Une Seule Fleur

II. Contre Qui, Rose

III. De Ton Rêve Trop Plein

IV. La Rose Complète

V. Dirait-on

1987 Madrigali: Six "Firesongs" on Italian Renaissance Poems I. Ov'è, Lass', Il Bel Viso?

II. Quando Son Piu Lontan

III. Amor, Io Sento L'alma

IV. Io Piango

V. Luci Serene e Chiare

VI. Se Per Havervi, Oime

1981 Cuatro Canciones Sobre Poesias de Federico Garcia Lorca[11]
1980 Mid-Winter Songs[10] (on poems by Robert Graves) I. Lament for Pasiphaë

II. Like Snow

III. She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep

IV. Mid-Winter Waking

V. Intercession in Late October

1976 Where Have the Actors Gone
1970 I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
1970 O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord
1967 A Winter Come (on poems by Howard Moss) I. When Frost Moves Fast

II. As Birds Come Nearer

III. The Racing Waterfall

IV. A Child Lay Down

V. Who Reads By Starlight

VI. And What Of Love


Lauridsen's works have been recorded on over 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy nominations. In the 2009 movie Angels & Demons noted film composer Hans Zimmer incorporated the Introitus opening of Lux Aeterna for the final scene.

Ten All-Lauridsen CDs:

CD Artist/Ensemble Conductor Awards Content Label
Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna Los Angeles Master Chorale Paul Salamunovich Grammy nomination (1998) Lux Aeterna (Orchestral Version), Les Chansons des Roses, Ave Maria, Mid-Winter Songs (Orchestral Version), O Magnum Mysterium RCM
Lauridsen: The Complete Choral Cycles Choral Cross-Ties Bruce Browne several best-of-the-year lists Mid-Winter Songs (Chamber Version), Madrigali, Les Chansons des Roses Freshwater
Lauridsen: Northwest Journey The Portland, Oregon Chamber Chorus, Ralph Grierson, Jane Thorngren, Viklarbo Ensemble, Donald Brinegar Singers, Shelly Berg, Sunny Wilkinson, James Drollinger and Morten Lauridsen various Where Have the Actors Gone, Dirait-on (Duet Version), Ubi Caritas et Amor, A Winter Come, Variations, Cuatro Canciones, Madrigali and O Magnum Mysterium (Piano/Vocal Version) RCM
O Magnum Mysterium Nordic Chamber Choir / Europe Nicol Matt Madrigali, Lux Aeterna (Organ version), O Magnum Mysterium, Les Chansons des Roses Hanssler Recordings
Lauridsen - Lux Aeterna Polyphony (Choir) and Britten Sinfonia / UK Stephen Layton Grammy nomination (2005) Lux Aeterna (Orchestral Version), Madrigali, Ave Maria, Ubi Caritas et Amor and O Magnum Mysterium Hyperion Records
Lauridsen – Nocturnes Polyphony (Choir) and Britten Sinfonia (with Morten Lauridsen, piano and Andrew Lumsden, organ) Stephen Layton Mid-Winter Songs on Poems by Robert Graves, Les Chansons des Roses (Rilke), I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, O Come Let Us Sing Unto The Lord, Ave Dulcissima Maria and Nocturnes Hyperion Records
Dialogues: Musical Conversations between Composer and Conductors 3-CD set containing conversations between Morten Lauridsen and conductors Paul Salamunovich and James Jordan discussing Morten Lauridsen’s compositions, with demonstrations by Lauridsen at the piano. GIA Publications
Sure On This Shining Night Voce and the Voce Chamber Artists /Hartford, CT Mark Singleton Movements from six vocal cycles plus four premiere CD recordings. Morten Lauridsen accompanies at the piano on several works. Voce Recordings
Morten Lauridsen – Choral Music Elora Festival Singers / Canada Noel Edison several full cycles and motets Naxos Recordings
Lauridsen – Mid-Winter Songs The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists Matthew Culloton the complete Nocturnes, Mid-Winter Songs, Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts and Les Chansons des Roses plus Three Psalm Settings. The Singers Recordings

Numerous additional national and international CD and LP recordings of Lauridsen compositions. Following is a sampling of these recordings:

Composition Artist/Ensemble Conductor Album Title(s) Label
O Magnum Mysterium Robert Shaw Chamber Singers Robert Shaw Angels On High, O Magnum Mysterium, Sacred, Robert Shaw-Master of the The First Art, Telarc
When Frost Moves Fast and And What of Love Paul Sperry and Irma Vallencillo An American Sampler Albany
O Magnum Mysterium Canterbury Choir A Canterbury Christmas York
O Magnum Mysterium Harvard University Singers Jameson Marvin Christmas in the Busch Harvard University Singers Recordings
O Love, Be Fed With Apples While You May San Francisco Symphony Chorus Vance George Voices 1900/2000 Delos
Dirait-on Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Air & Ground Sony
O Magnum Mysterium Los Angeles Master Chorale Paul Salamunovich Christmas / A KDFC Classical Christmas RCM / KDFC
O Magnum Mysterium Memphis Chamber Choir In Every Corner Sing Pro Organo
Lament for Pasiphae and De Ton Reve Trop Plein University of Miami Chorale Voices and Light Albany
Dirait-on (Treble Voice Version) Northwest Girlchoir Echo In My Soul Arsis
O Magnum Mysterium Rhodes Singers Timothy Sharp Christmas at St. Mary’s Rhodes College Singers Records
En Une Seule Fleur and Contre Qui Rose Phoenix Chamber Choir (Canada) Live in Copenhagen PCC
Lux Aeterna (Organ Version) Donald Brinegar Singers Donald Brinegar Eternal Light DBSR
Dirait-on Kasilag Guitar Quartet Kasilag Recordings
O Magnum Mysterium St. George’s Choir Christmas at St. George’s Pro Organo
O Nata Lux Magnum Chorum Light Everlasting MC Collections
La Rose Complete Ars Nova Singers All Sky New Art Recordings
Madrigali and Les Chansons des Roses USC Chamber Choir USC Recordings
O Magnum Mysterium The Trinity Choir (Boston) Radiant Light Dorian
A Winter Come Elin Carlson And What Of Love Singularity Records
Dirait-on (Voice/Guitar) Chvatal and S. Kritzer Songs of the Americas Miramont
O Magnum Mysterium Dallas Symphony Chorus Dallas Christmas Gala Delos
Be Still, My Soul, Be Still Yoav Ensemble Yoav Chamber Ensemble Orion
O Magnum Mysterium The New York Concert Singers Judith Clurman A Season’s Promise New World Recordings
Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts, Psalm 29 and Mid-Winter Songs USC Chamber Singers Rodney Eichenberger Opus Records
O Magnum Mysterium Dale Warland Singers Dale Warland American Favorites Gothic Records
O Magnum Mysterium The Bach Choir: Choristers of Winchester Cathedral Noel! Priory Records LTD (UK)
Madrigali: Six “FireSongs” on Italian Renaissance Poems Seattle Pro Musica Karen Thomas Alnight by the Rose SPM Recordings
O Magnum Mysterium Loyola Marymount Singers A Christmas Gala Delos
Dirait-on Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Summer Guitars FM Recordings
Mid-Winter Songs and O Magnum Mysterium Antioch Chamber Ensemble Joshua Copeland Winter Songs ACE Recordings
O Magnum Mysterium Handel and Haydn Society Chorus Peace AVI
Mid-Winter Songs and Les Chansons des Roses Donald Brinegar Singers Donald Brinegar DBSR
O Magnum Mysterium (Concert Band Version) University of Michigan Symphony Band Michael Haithcock Equalibrium
O Magnum Mysterium San Francisco Chamber Singers Island In Space Ososke
When Frost Moves Fast Juliana Gondek and Roger Vignoles Phillip-Pateck
O Magnum Mysterium Magnum Chorum Wonderful Mystery MC Recordings
Madrigali University of Alberta Madrigal Singers L. Ratzlaff Arktos
O Magnum Mysterium Choir of the West Richard Sparks Rejoice and Sing PLU Recordings
Dirait-on (Solo Voice and Piano Version) Hillary Hight Daw and Barbara Efird Americans in Paris ACA
O Magnum Mysterium National Lutheran Choir René Clausen A Holy Solemnity National Lutheran Choir Records
Fanfare for Brass Sextet and O Magnum Mysterium San Francisco Bay Brass
O Magnum Mysterium Princeton Singers Steven Sametz PSR
Les Chansons des Roses Los Angeles Chamber Singers Peter Rutenberg Romancero Gitano RCM
O Magnum Mysterium South Bend Singers Christmas at Loretto Pro Organo
Dirait-on Tim Seelig/Turtle Creek Chorale Tim Seelig (and vocalist) Two Worlds TCC Records
O Magnum Mysterium Cleveland Orchestra Chorus Robert Porco Christmas at Severance Hall Cleveland Orchestra/Musical Arts
Ave Maria Rhodes Singers Timothy Sharp Christmas at St. Mary’s Rhodes College Singers Records
O Magnum Mysterium (solo version) Janeanne Houston, soprano Living Mysteries Elmgrove Productions
O Magnum Mysterium Chicago a cappella (ensemble) Jonathan Miller Holidays-a cappella Live! Chicago a cappella Records
O Nata Lux and O Magnum Mysterium Cheyenne Chamber Singers CCS Records
O Magnum Mysterium (TTBB Version) Turtle Creek Chorale Timothy Seelig One World TCC Records
O Nata Lux KantoreI Richard Larson Pillars of Light Kantorel
O Magnum Mysterium The Choral Project Water and Light Clarion
Dirait-on Rose Wynde Distant Ayres Sunridge
O Magnum Mysterium Cincinnati May Festival Chorus Christmas with the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus CSO
Sonata for Trumpet and Piano Roy Poper/Brian Pezzone
O Magnum Mysterium Lumen Valo Mysterium LVCD (Finland)
O Magnum Mysterium (Concert Band Version) Northwestern University Concert Band Mallory Thompson Summit Records
O Magnum Mysterium Los Angeles Master Chorale LA Master Chorale – Live from Walt Disney Concert Hall
Sa Nuit d’Ete and two Madrigali Seattle Pro Musica American Masterpieces SPM
O Magnum Mysterium Octarium Hodie Soundtrack
Lux Aeterna Sacramento Choral Society European Horizons SCS Recordings
O Nata Lux Samford University Choir How Can I Keep From Singing SU
Dirait-on Spivey Hall Children’s Choir I’ll Be Seeing You ACA Recordings
O Magnum Mysterium Anam Cara Innisfree GIA
O Magnum Mysterium Richard Zielinski Singers American Voices RZR
O Magnum Mysterium Tiffany Consort Nicholas White O Magnum Mysterium (Grammy Nominee, 2006) MSR Classics
Ov’e, Lass’, Il Bel Viso? U of Miami Chorale What Dreams May Come Albany
Contre qui, rose Chicago a cappella (ensemble) Jonathan Miller Electric Centaur
O Magnum Mysterium and O Nata Lux Faber Singers Simon Halsey Adoro Te Faber Music Unlimited
Soneto de la Noche Santa Fe Desert Chorale Linda Mack Passion Clarion
Ubi Caritas et Amor The Abbey Schoo Choir, Twekesbury Benjamin Nicholas Light of the World Signum Classics
O Magnum Mysterium Columbus State University Wind Ensemble Velocity Summit
Contre Qui, Rose, O Nata Lux and O Magnum Mysterium Sacred Treasures IV: Choral Masterworks Heart of Space Records
Ubi Caritas et Amor Trinity Choir, Trinity Church, Boston Brian Jones Sounds of Light Gothic Records
O Magnum Mysterium Coro The Lover’s Ghost Dal Segno
Ave Dulcissima Maria Cantus Cantus Cantus Recordings
Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts, O Magnum Mysterium and Nocturnes USC Chamber Singers Legacy USC Recordings
Lux Aeterna Olympia Choral Society Light and Joy Chinook Wind Records
O Magnum Mysterium United States Coastguard Band Holiday Fanfare USCGA
Mid-Winter Songs USC Chamber Choir USC Thornton Chamber Choir in Taipei USC
O Magnum Mysterium Stellenbosch Libertas Choir Christmas with the Stellenbosch Libertas Choir SLC Records
O Magnum Mysterium Polyphony (choir) A Christmas Present from Polyphony Hyperion
Nocturnes Amedeus-Chor Nicol Matt Amerikanische Chormusik ARS
O Magnum Mysterium Dale Warland Singers Dale Warland Lux Aurumque Gothic Records
Se Per Havervi, Oime Schola Cantorum and Nordic Voices Audiens Lindberg
Contre Qui, Rose Octarium Modern Masters Blackwood Recordings
Ave Maria Schola Cantorum of Oxford Sweet is the Memory Faber Recordings
Soneto de la Noche and Sure On This Shining Night Conspirare Craig Hella Johnson A Conspiracy of Voices (Grammy Nominee, 2010) Conspirare
Sure on this Shining Night The Voices of Anam Cara Angels in the Architecture GIA
Fanfare for Brass Sextet and O Magnum Mysterium The Bay Brass Sound The Bells! Harmonia Mundi
O Magnum Mysterium Davis High School Madrigals Karen Gardias Madrigals Italy/Wales 2010

Sheet music sales and performances[edit]

Draft of original Lauridsen score, new work in progress, June 2011

Morten Lauridsen is currently one of America’s most performed composers,[12] with hundreds of performances each year throughout the world in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Vatican, Sydney Opera House and Westminster Abbey. Over one million copies of his scores have been sold and his Dirait-on, O Magnum Mysterium and O Nata Lux have become the all-time best selling octavos distributed by the Theodore Presser Co., in business since 1783.

Recordings of Morten Lauridsen’s compositions are featured regularly on radio broadcasts throughout the United States, and he is a frequent interview guest on radio and television programs, including a recent KCET “Life and Times” program, the oft- repeated national broadcast of “A Portrait of Morten Lauridsen” on the “First Art” and a nationally-broadcast, Christmas Day feature on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” with Scott Simon. He has been profiled in several extended printed articles, including those in the Los Angeles Times “Calendar,” Seattle Times, Choral Journal, Choir and Organ, Chorus America’s “Voice”, Fanfare Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. He has received over four hundred commission requests, most recently from Harvard University, the American Choral Director’s Association and the Pacific Chorale, and is a frequent guest lecturer and Artist/Composer-in-Residence.

His principal publishers are Peermusic (New York/Hamburg) and Peer's affiliate, Faber Music (London).

Teaching life[edit]

Years Program Position
1968-69 Jascha Heifetz Master Classes Theory Instructor
1966 USC Music Preparatory Department Established Theory Program
1970-90 Thornton School of Music Undergraduate Theory Program Coordinator
1972–Present USC Thornton School of Music Full-Time Faculty
Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV Advanced Studies Program, Thornton School of Music, USC Founder
1990–2002 Composition department at the USC Thornton School of Music Chair
Current USC Thornton School of Music Distinguished Professor of Composition

In addition to these positions, Lauridsen has served as Artistic Advisor on the Boards of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Dale Warland Singers, I Cantori (New York), USC Scoring for Films/TV Program, National Children’s Chorus, Creative Kids Education Foundation, Volti (San Francisco Chamber Singers), New York City Master Chorale, Jacaranda, and Angeles Chorale.

Residencies/Guest lectureships[edit]

In offering residencies for choral singers and composition students, Lauridsen has travelled extensively throughout America, also with visits to the UK and Europe over the years. These residencies have included the following schools and choral organizations.

University of Arizona University of Minnesota University of New Mexico King College, Tenn.
University of California, Berkeley University of Kansas Washington State University Azusa Pacific University
University of Nevada, Reno Portland State University (2x) Miami University of Ohio Trinity University (Texas)
Colorado State University University of Kentucky Boise State University Morehead State University
Lewis & Clark College University of California, Los Angeles Pasadena City College (2x) Volti Choral Institute
University of Arkansas Houston Baptist College (2x) Portland Symphony Chorus Portland Liederkranz
Phillips Academy, Andover San Francisco Chamber Singers (3x) Los Angeles Chamber Singers Indianapolis Master Chorale
Paso Robles Master Chorale Consortium of Churches, Dallas University of Northern Illinois Southern Illinois University
University of Georgia Seattle Choral Company (2x) Consortium of Churches, Detroit Angeles Chorale
ACDA National Convention, Austin California Institute of the Arts National Master Chorale (D.C.) Arizona Liederkranz
Los Angeles Choral Composer’s Consortium Westminster Choir College (2x) Rowan University The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists University of Denver
Choral Cross-Ties, Portland, Meet The Composer Grant Oklahoma State University Central Bucks High School West Choirs (2x) Voce and the Voce Chamber Artists, Hartford
Composer’s Forum, USC Thornton School of Music King’s College, Aberdeen University, Scotland (3x)

Seattle Pro Musica NEA American Master Composer Grant || Composer-in-Residence, Los Angeles Master Chorale, 1995–2001

Pacific Chorale NEA American Master Composer grant World Choir Games, Cincinnati

Awards, prizes, commissions and honorary degrees[edit]

Recipient, 2007 National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” Designated an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts, 2006; National Endowment for the Arts Meet the Composer Grant;

Organization/Award Composition/Commission
Los Angeles Master Chorale Commission O Magnum Mysterium
Phi Kappa Phi Award for Creative Writing Mid-Winter Songs
Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Music Center Commission Lux Aeterna
Harvard University Glee Commission Ave Dulcissima Maria
Composers of California Composition Prize A Winter Come
Pasadena Chamber Orchestra Commission Mid-Winter Songs, orchestral version
USC Centennial Commission Mid-Winter Songs, chorus/piano version
Chorus America Grant LA Master Chorale performance of Mid-Winter Songs
Piedmont Children’s Choir Commission SA version of Dirait-on
Loyola/Marymount University Commission Ubi Caritas et Amor
Yoav Chamber Ensemble Commissions Cuatro Canciones and Be Still, My Soul
ACDA Raymond Brock Commission Nocturnes
Victoria Scholars Commission O Magnum Mysterium, TTBB version
San Francisco Bay Brass Commission O Magnum Mysterium for Brass Ensemble
Pacific Chorale Commission Chanson Eloignee--Distant Song
Jimmy McHugh Composition Prize For Symphony I
The Choral Project Commission Orchestral version of Sure on this Shining Night
ASCAP Standard Award Each year for over 30 years
Thornton School of Music Dean’s Award For Professional Accomplishment, 2007/2010
Alpha Lambda Delta Citation For Teaching Excellence
USC Thornton School of Music Ramo Award For Outstanding Professor
USC Thornton School of Music Outstanding Alumnus Award
Alchin and Cole Porter/Samuel Stark Fellowships
Elected to Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
Fellow, Los Angeles Institute for the Arts 2009-
Honorary Board Member Los Angeles Master Chorale and New York City Master Chorale

Articles by the composer[edit]

“It’s a Still Life That Runs Deep: The Influence of Zurbaran’s Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose on Morten Lauridsen’s Composition O Magnum Mysterium,” Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2009

Foreword to the book, Evoking Sound, by James Jordan, GIA Publications, 2009

“Morten Lauridsen on Composing Choral Music,” a chapter in the book Contemporary Choral Music Composers, GIA Publications, 2007

Liner notes for the CD “Randall Thompson—The Peaceable Kingdom,” Schola Cantorum of Oxford, Hyperion Records

“Remembering Halsey Stevens,” National Association of Composer Journal, 1990


  1. ^ National Endowment for the Arts Website
  2. ^ Los Angeles Master Chorale Website
  3. ^ a b Thornton School of Music Profile
  4. ^ Oram, Thomas biography, AllMusic Website
  5. ^ The Best Composer You've Never Heard Of, Wall Street Journal review by Terry Teachout.
  6. ^ Tom Wine, et al. (2007). Composers on Composing for Choir Graphite Publishing. Pg. 69-70.
  7. ^ Shrock, Dennis. "Choral Literature." New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. p. 751-752.
  8. ^ Strimple, Nick. "Choral Music in the Twentieth Century" Amadeus Press, 2003.
  9. ^ Wine, Tom et al. (2007). Composers on Composing for Choir Graphite Publishing. Pg. 69-70.
  10. ^ a b c d e Morten Lauridsen. Lux Aeterna. RCM, 1998
  11. ^ Morten Lauridsen's biography at
  12. ^ Wine,Tom et al. (2007). Composers on Composing for Choir Graphite Publishing. Pg. 69-70.

External links[edit]