John Warthen Struble

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John Warthen Struble is an American composer-pianist and writer. Born in 1952 in Washington, D.C, he began piano studies at the age of eight and composed his first work, "The Clown Prince of Wanderlust", a children’s musical theatre piece, when he was 15. That same year, he made his concert debut playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21,K. 467, with original cadenzas, with the San Bernardino (CA) Youth Symphony under conductor Gerald Christensen.[1]

As an undergraduate at Indiana University, Struble studied with John Eaton, Bernhard Heiden and Juan Orrego-Salas, in addition to seminars with John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, George Crumb, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland, Donald Erb and others. His undergraduate thesis was a one-act opera, Pontifex (Op. 8),[2] for theatre-in-the-round with multiple chamber ensembles in lieu of orchestra.[1]

Struble received his M.A. in Music from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied with Pauline Oliveros and Robert Erickson. His thesis was The “Concord Sonata” of Charles E. Ives: a reference for pianists and scholars, on which he worked with the late John Kirkpatrick at Yale, and which began his lifelong passion for American classical music.[1]

In subsequent years, Struble has written and performed a variety of works, ranging from his Granite State Suite (Op. 26 & 26a), commissioned by the State of New Hampshire for the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1987[2] to the somber Archbishop Romero Mass (Op. 18)[2] for mixed chorus, brass choir, timpani and organ, premiered under the composer’s direction at the cathedral of the San Bernardino/Riverside Roman Catholic Diocese.[1] His compositions range from serious piano sonatas to Broadway musicals, from string quartets to his 2006 Rhapsody for Piano and Jazz Band (Op. 46).[1]

He is the author of several articles and reviews which have appeared in 'Musical America', 'Minnesota Composers Forum', American Music Teacher' and other journals, as well as the book The History of American Classical Music, published in 1995 by Facts on File (New York). In addition, his collection of 104 American folk songs, entitled Classic American Folk Music, arranged for piano with historical commentary by the author, was published in two volumes by Belwin Mills in 1996.

Struble currently resides in New Hampshire where he continues his work as musician, author and educator.


  1. ^ a b c d e Composer's web site, accessed 16 February 2009
  2. ^ a b c Composer's Catalog of Compositions (unpublished), provided to the author by the composer October 2008