Janet Maguire

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Janet Maguire

Janet Maguire (born 1927 in Chicago) is an American composer residing in Venice, Italy. She is known particularly for her arrangement of the finale of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot, in which she used exclusively the sketches Puccini left for it at his death. Maguire is also known for her dramatic contemporary opera in three acts, Hérésie, and has worked in a wide variety of musical expressions throughout some fifty orchestral, chamber, solo, vocal, choral and stage works.


Born in Chicago and raised in New Rochelle, New York, Janet Maguire began musical studies at the age of six: on piano, French horn, and cornet. She completed a BA degree in Piano at Colorado College, then went to Paris to study composition with René Leibowitz for five years. They co-authored the book Thinking for Orchestra (published by G. Schirmer), and a book about the orchestration of Jacques Offenbach selections, Nuits Parisiennes (RCA, Bote & Bock) as well as Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Die Drei Pintos. Several summers spent at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse influenced Maguire's style, as did the music of György Ligeti, Luigi Nono, and Karlheinz Stockhausen[clarification needed].

Maguire continues to develop independent paths in musical thought with the help of several musicians specializing in experimental music.

Maguire was the recipient of the 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a residence at Copland House (2006)[where?]. Maguire was music critic for the Paris Herald Tribune while she lived in Paris[when?]. After moving to Venice, she founded there the association "Musica in Divenire", of which she was elected President, and organized concerts of new music. Her compositions have been heard throughout Italy and Germany, and in France, Spain, Ireland, the UK, the US, Austria, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Latvia and Bulgaria. New World Records issued a CD with seven of her works, and Albany Records released a CD with ten of her works in 2009.

List of works[edit]


Shuffle (1991) piccolo, 3, 2[clarification needed], eh[clarification needed], 2, bcl, 2[clarification needed], dbsn, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, harp, percussion, strings
La Mia Serra (1992) poem by Luisa Milos; mezzosoprano solo, chorus AB - 1,1[clarification needed], eh[clarification needed],1, O - 1,1,-O,O - harp, cello, percussion - strings 4, 4, 3, 2, 1[clarification needed] (8')[clarification needed]
Hark (1995) 4,3, EH[clarification needed], 3, BCL,4 - 7,4,4,1[clarification needed], - 2 harps, piano, cello, marimb[clarification needed], percussion - 15,13,11,9,5[clarification needed], (11')[clarification needed]
Glass (1997) 3,2,eh, 2, bcl, 3 - 5,2,2,O - cello, harp, 2 percussion - 16,14,12,1O, 8 (8')[clarification needed]
Le Jardin de Versailles (1998) 2,2,EH,2,CLB,2 - 2,2,2,O - SAT B, boy soprano, vibra, percussion, strings (18')[clarification needed]
Fantasia (1990) piano solo - piccolo, 3,2,[clarification needed]EH,2,[clarification needed]BCL,3,DBN[clarification needed] - 4,3,3,L[clarification needed] - strings (10')[clarification needed]
Etude Osmotique (2000) 2, 2, eh, 2, clb, 2 - 2,l,2,O - chorus SATB[clarification needed] - harp, cello, vibra[clarification needed], timpani, percussion and strings (9')

Solo piano[edit]

Frills (2002) 10'

Piano duet[edit]

Ebb and Flow (1999) 12'

Piano with orchestra[edit]

Fantasia, (1990) concerto 20'
Hark, (2000) orchestra 15'

Piano with chamber ensemble[edit]

Treize A Table, piano and 12 percussionists 13'
Quest, piano and 2 percussions, with action 9'
L'Intervista, with soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trp[clarification needed], violin, viola, vcl[clarification needed], percussion and piano 11'
Tragedy, with string quartet 8'45"

Vocal with ensemble[edit]

Canzone D'Amore, with tenor and 20 strings (11')
Un Momento, speaker, 2 violin, 2 viola, 2 vcl, 2 percussion (5')
Wisp, soprano, 2 flute, clarinet, bclar, alto sax, horn, piano, violin, viola, vcl, cbs (3')
Five Chinese Poems, bass voice, vcl, clarinet, Zheng, 3 percussion (poems by Joseph A. Precker) (11')
Lace Knots, string quartet and soprano (8)
L'Intervista, soprano
La Mia Serra, poem by Luisa Milos, orchestra, chorus, contralto (8')
Gone, poem by Carl Sandburg; mezzosoprano, flute, vla, harp, (6')

Vocal with piano[edit]

Cosi, poem by Paola Bozzini; soprano, 5'57"
Cummings Lieder, poems by e.e. Cummings; soprano, 13'46"
Three Love Songs, poems by Joseph A. Precker; tenor, 8'


Southern Trees, 4 solo women's voices: soprano, s[clarification needed], mezzosoprano, alto, with chime poem by Lewis Allan 8'
Il Fiume Tchirek, 9 solo voices, soprano, s[clarification needed], mezzosoprano, alto, t,t,br,bs,bs[clarification needed], poem by Altun the Tartar 11'
Lightly, women's chorus, s, s, ms,a, with tamburello, crotalo, guiro, rainstick 6'
Inno A Dio,, SA TB chorus 7'
Per Acqua, poem by Luisa Milos, two choruses SATB[clarification needed], 14'

Piano and voice[edit]

Cosi, (poem by Paola Bozzini; soprano and piano 5'52"
Cummings Lieder, poems by e.e. cummings; soprano and piano 13'45"
Three Love Songs, poems by Joseph A. Precker; piano and tenor 8'


Treize A Table, 13 percussionists with piano, with action[clarification needed] 13'
Quest, piano and 2 percussionists 9'
Five Chinese Poems, 3 percussionists, clarinet, cello, Zheng, bass voice 14'40"
Moondust, Zheng and 4 percussionists 6'
Wisp, two flutes, clarinet, bcl, szx, horn, piano, soprano, violin, viola, vcl, cbs, 2 percussionists
Hier Bin Bin Ich, Wo Bist Du? two flute, oboe, ci, 2 clarinets, bsn, dbsn, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 4 percussionists 9'30"
Un Momento, two percussions, 2 violins, 2 viola, 2 cellos, speaker 5'
L'Intervista, soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trumpet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion 11'



Invenzione 7'52"
L'Altro Quartetto with crotalo and bongo 8'20"
Lace Knots with soprano 6'37"
Fumees d'Ivresse for four cellos 9'


Variations for violin and viola 15"
Scontri for violin and double bass 6"
Fingers for harp and percussion
Discussion for harp and oboe 4'


Tango for solo violin 6'
Sketch for solo violin 5'
Vagheggiando for solo cello
A Question for solo viola

In ensemble[edit]

Canzone d'Amore : 20 strings with tenor voice
Un Momento - 2 violin, 2 vla, 2 vcl, 2 percussion, speaker
Danza - 4 violin, 4 vle, 4 vcl, 1db ob, cl
2 Chinese poems, (joseph A. Precker poems) vcl, clarinet, Zheng, 3 percussion, bass voice
Hier bin Ich, Wo bist Du? (Konrad Lorenz gewidmet) 2 vl, 1 vla, 1 vcl, 1 db, flute, oboe, eh, clarinet, bcl, fg, cfg, trp, cor, trombone, tba, celest, marimba, xylophone, four percussions
A Trois - flute, clarinet, violin
L'Intervista - vl, vla, vcl, soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, cor, timpani, xylophone, percussion, piano
Moondust - Zheng and 4 percussions


Miniotto - two clarinets in B-flat


Envoys, an opera-ballet based on a haiku-play by Richard France
Soloists: soprano, mezzosoprano, tenor, baritone, bass
Orch: Shakuhachi, 2 flutes, oboe, eh, clarinet, bcl, bassoon, 2 horns, trumpet, trombone, harp, celesta, percussion, 4 violin, 4 violin II, 3 viola, 2a vcl, 1 dbs 40'

Taiga, ballet by Paola Bozzini - 40'
Corps de ballet, 5 soloists, full orchestra

Heresie - opera in 3 acts, libretto by Gabrielle Zimmermann in French - Chorus
12 flutes, 2 oboes, English Horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, double bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, accordion, harp, vibraphone, celesta, xylophone, 3 timpani, 12 vII, 0 vIII, 8 viola, 6 vcl, 4 cbl

Chamber Music[edit]

Scontri for violin and double bass 11'[clarification needed]
Invenzione for string quartet 7'33"[clarification needed]
Miniotto for 3 b-flat clarinets 9'[clarification needed]
Discussion for oboe and harp 7'[clarification needed]
Fumees d'Ivresse for four cellos 6'
Peacock mezzosoprano, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone 9'
L'Altro Quartetto string quartet with bongo and crotales 7'36"
L'Intervista soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trumpet, violin, viola, cello, xylophone, percussion, piano 6'
Danza oboe, clarinet, four violins, four violas, four cellos, double bass, tamtam 15"
A Trois for flute, clarinet, violin 5'10"
Schizzi for film[clarification needed], two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, two trombones, timpani, percussion, harp and strings


External links[edit]