Frank Lewin

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Frank Lewin (March 27, 1925 – January 18, 2008) was an American composer and teacher.


Frank Lewin was born March 27, 1925, in Breslau, Germany. He and his family escaped from Germany in 1939, spent a year in Cuba, and came to the United States in 1940. Lewin studied composition with Felix Deyo at the Baldwin Conservatory (Long Island, New York); Jack Frederick Kilpatrick and Hans David at Southern Methodist University; Roy Harris in Logan, Utah; and Richard Donovan and Paul Hindemith at the Yale School of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1951.

Lewin composed and edited music for feature, documentary, and television films, including dozens of original scores for The Defenders and The Nurses. He wrote incidental music for plays from William Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, and composed scores for historical outdoor dramas by Paul Green and others, in various parts of the country. He also wrote a number of concert compositions including two operas, several orchestral works, concertos for viola and harmonica, song cycles, and choral music.

Lewin was a professor at the Yale School of Music from 1971 to 1992, teaching composition for film; and at the Columbia University School of the Arts from 1975 to 1989, where he taught the course "Music in Modern Media."

Lewin lived in Princeton, New Jersey from 1951 until his death on January 18, 2008.[1]



  • Gulliver, an opera in two acts, with some sections composed by Easley Blackwood and Elliot Kaplan (1975)
  • Burning Bright, based on the novel and play by John Steinbeck (1993)


  • Evocation (1960)
  • Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, (1960)
  • Concerto Armonico, viola and orchestra (1960); revision and transcription of the Harmonica Concerto by violist Brett Deubner (2006)
  • Concerto on Silesian Tunes, viola concerto (1965)


  • Dunlap's Creek, for organ and English horn (1953)
  • Music for the New Family of Violins, for the eight instruments designed and built by Carleen Hutchins (1965)


  • Psalm 121 (1942)
  • Psalm 148 (1949)
  • Psalm 137 (1956)
  • Behold, How Good (1959)
  • Seasons (1962)
  • Music for the White House (1965)
  • Requiem for Robert F. Kennedy (Mass for the Dead, in English) (1969)

Solo vocal music

Theater music

Historical outdoor dramas

  • Beyond the Sundown by Kermit Hunter (1975)
  • The McIntosh Trail by Kermit Hunter (1976)
  • Dust on her Petticoats by Kermit Hunter (1976)
  • Hernando DeSoto, Conquistador by Kermit Hunter (1976)
  • Blue Jacket by W.L. "Rusty" Mundell (1982)
  • Trumpet in the Land by Paul Green (1984)
  • The White Savage by Joseph Bonamico and Mark Durbin (1997)

Film and television

  • Wanted, CBS TV series (1955–56), theme composer
  • The Nurses, television series (1961–63)
  • The Defenders, television series (1962–65)
  • A Year Toward Tomorrow, documentary film (1967)
  • J.T., CBS Children's Television Workshop movie (1969)
  • The Plot Against Harry, feature film directed by Michael Roemer (1989)


  • The Soundtrack in Nontheatrical Motion Pictures Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 1958.
  • Man and His Sound—Expo 67. Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, 1968.
  • Burning Bright, The Genesis of an Opera, Lyrica Society, 1985.
  • The Music of Language in a Passage from Tannhäuser, Ars Lyrica, Journal of the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations, Volume XIII, 2003.
  • Reflecting on Wagner [1]



  1. ^ "Biography". Frank Lewin website. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
  • Auld, Louis E. (1985). Burning Bright, The Genesis of an Opera: an interview with Frank Lewin. Guildford, CT: Lyrica Society. ISBN 0-937129-00-3.

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