Jay Sydeman

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William Jay Sydeman (born 8 May 1928) is an American composer. Born in New York, he studied at the Mannes School of Music, where he later taught composition (1960–1970). Winning early acclaim for his avant-garde music (principally published by C. F. Peters), he felt trapped by the prevailing orthodoxies and moved to California in 1970, beginning a period of wandering during which he also studied Buddhism and Anthroposophy. He joined ASCAP in 1975. In 1981 he settled in Sacramento and resumed composition at his former prolific rate, having newly embraced a neotonal musical language. He currently resides in Mendocino.

Selected works[edit]

  • Aria da Capo
  • The Odyssey
  • Mosey'n Along for string orchestra with oboe
  • Lyric Piece for chamber orchestra
  • Miniatures
  • Orchestral Abstractions
  • Study No. 1 (1959)
  • Study No. 2
  • Study No. 3 (1965)
  • Study No. 4 "The 4 Seasons"
  • In Memoriam: J. F. Kennedy for narrator and orchestra (1966)
  • Texture Studies (1969)
  • Oecumenicus
  • Movements for concert band
  • Five Movements for wind symphony
  • Largo for cello and string orchestra (1959)
  • Concert Piece for horn and string orchestra
  • Concertino for oboe, piano and string orchestra (1967)
  • Concerto da Camera [No. 1] for solo violin, flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, viola and cello (1959)
  • Concerto da Camera No. 2 for solo violin, oboe, clarinet, viola and cello (1960)
  • Concerto da Camera No. 3 for solo violin, winds and percussion (1965)
  • Concerto da Camera for viola and chamber ensemble (1968)
  • Music for viola, winds and percussion (1971)
  • Reflections for violin, cello and string orchestra
Chamber music
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1954)
  • Quintet No. 1 for woodwinds (1955)
  • Sonata for violin and piano (1955)
  • Music for brass ensemble and percussion (1955)
  • Quartet for violin, clarinet, cello and piano (1955)
  • Quartet for violin, clarinet, trumpet and double bass (1955)
  • Music for 10 woodwinds (1956)
  • Study for 2 flutes and piano (1956)
  • Tower Music for brass quintet (1959)
  • Duo for cello and piano (1963)
  • Duo for violin and piano (1963)
  • Trio for flute, double bass and percussion (1963)
  • Duo for trumpet and percussion (1965)
  • Sonata for violin solo (1966)
  • Duo for viola and harpsichord (or piano) (1967)
  • Sonata for cello solo (1967)
  • Trio for bassoon, bass clarinet and piano (1968)
  • Duo for xylophone and double bass (1969)
  • Duo for trumpet and amplified double bass (1969)
  • Duo for horn and piano (1970)
  • Music for xylophone solo (1975)
  • Trio for viola, cello and piano (1985)
  • Auld Lang Sydeman for violin and viola
  • Duo for flute and viola
  • Duo [No. 1] for violin and viola
  • Duo No. 2 for violin and viola
  • A New Wedding March for violin and viola
  • Prelude for viola and cello
  • Sonata for viola and piano
  • Song for double bass and piano
  • Trio for 3 violas
  • Variations for viola and bassoon
  • Variations (1958)
  • Prometheus, cantata for soloist, chorus and orchestra (1957)
  • Lament of Electra for alto solo, large chorus and chamber orchestra
  • The Place of Blue Flowers for narrator and viola
  • Songs on Elizabethan Texts for soprano and flute
  • 3 Songs after Emily Dickinson for soprano and cello
  • Jabberwocky for soprano, flute and cello
  • Five Short Songs for soprano and piano (1978)
  • 4 Japanese Songs for soprano and 2 violins
  • Cradle Song for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • Japanese Love Poems for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • La Jour de la Mère for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • Moon Over Mountain for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • The Fence for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • The Foundation Stone for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • I Sing the Praises for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • A Prayer for alto, viola and piano
  • Malediction for tenor, string quartet and tape (1970)
  • It Seems for baritone and piano
  • Upon Julia's Clothes for baritone and piano
  • A Spider for baritone and piano
  • 4 Psalms for bass and piano

External links[edit]


  • ASCAP. ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, 4th ed. Jaques Cattell Press, R.R. Bowker Company, 1980, p. 496, ISBN 0-8352-1283-1, (entire page 496, just Sydeman entry, copyright page)
  • Vinton, John ed. Dictionary of Contemporary Music, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1974, p. 725-726, ISBN 0-525-09125-4