Harold Morris (composer)

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Harold Morris (March 17, 1890, San Antonio, Texas – May 6, 1964, New York City) was an American pianist, composer and educator.[1]

Morris graduated from the University of Texas in 1910 and received his master's degree from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1922. He married Cosby Dansby, August 20, 1914; the couple had one daughter. Morris moved from his native San Antonio, Texas to New York in 1916. [2]

Performances and compositions[edit]

Morris toured extensively as a recitalist and soloist and his compositions were performed frequently during his lifetime. He made his New York concert debut in recital in January 1921 at Aeolian Hall, with a program of Brahms, Busoni, Chopin, Godowsky, Cyril Scott and Charles T. Griffes.[3] On November 21, 1931, Morris was the piano soloist for a performance of his Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Morris' composition, Poem was performed by violinist and conductor Eugène Ysaÿe in Cincinnati, Ohio with the Cincinnati Orchestra in November, 1918.[4] Violinist Josef Stransky performed the work at Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra three months later.[5]

Teaching[edit]

Morris taught at the Juilliard School of Music from 1922 to 1939, at Columbia University from 1939 to 1946, and at The Castle School in Tarrytown, New York. Morris also taught at his studio in Manhattan, at Rice Institute (1933), Duke University (1939–40), and the University of Texas.[6][7]

Leadership and Affiliations[edit]

Morris was one of the principal founders of the American Music Guild in New York in 1921. He served as United States director of the International Society for Contemporary Music from 1936 to 1940. From 1937 to 1963, Morris served variously as Vice President and Program Committee Chairman of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors.[8][9]

Selected Compositions[edit]

[10][11]

For Orchestra[edit]

  • Poem, after Tagore's Gitanjali (1918)
  • Dum-a-Lum, variations on a Negro spiritual (1925)
  • Piano Concerto on Two Negro Themes (1931)
  • Symphony No. 1, after Browning's Prospice (1934)
  • Violin Concerto (1939)
  • Passacaglia and Fugue (1939)
  • Suite (1941)
  • American Epic (1942)
  • Heroic Overture (1943)
  • Symphony No. 2, "Victory" (1943)
  • Symphony No. 3, "Amaranth" (1948)

Chamber music[edit]

  • Piano Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 2
  • Opus No. 3 (1915) (solo piano)
  • Violin Sonata
  • Prologue and Scherzo (flute, violin, cello and piano)
  • Rhapsody (flute, cello, and piano)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times obituary, "Harold Morris, A Composer, 74", May 7, 1964, page 37
  2. ^ New York Times obituary, "Harold Morris, A Composer, 74", May 7, 1964, page 37
  3. ^ New York Times article, "HAROLD MORRIS APPEARS", January 13, 1921
  4. ^ New York Times obituary, "Harold Morris, A Composer, 74", May 7, 1964, page 37
  5. ^ New York Times article, "Orchestras End Season", March 23, 1919, page 48
  6. ^ New York Times obituary, "Harold Morris, A Composer, 74", May 7, 1964, page 37
  7. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Seventh Edition, Revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, Schirmer Books, New York, 1984
  8. ^ The International Piano Archives at The University of Maryland, biographical description with collection
  9. ^ Guide to the National Association of American Composers and Conductors Records, 1894-1984, JPB 03-15, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, New York, 2007
  10. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 12, Edited by Stanley Sadie, MacMillan Publishers, London, 1980
  11. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Seventh Edition, Revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, Schirmer Books, New York, 1984

External links[edit]