M. Lewis Spratlan Jr. (born September 5, 1940) is an American music academic and composer of contemporary classical music.
Spratlan joined the faculty of Amherst College in 1970, and later held the Peter R. Pouncey chair in music. He retired in 2006 and now holds the title of Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music, Emeritus, at Amherst. He also conducted the Amherst College Orchestra for several years.
The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2000 for a concert version of Act 2 of his 3-act opera Life is a Dream, Spratlan had begun the opera in 1975 and completed it in 1978, originally as a commission from the New Haven Opera. By the time Spratlan had finished the work, the New Haven Opera had ceased to exist and the opera was not staged.
Act 2 of the opera received its first full performance at Amherst College in January 2000, and subsequently at Harvard University. The Santa Fe Opera accepted the score for production in its 2010 season, and the complete opera received its first full production there on 24 July 2010. Spratlan wrote his second opera, Earthrise, on commission from San Francisco Opera.
A choral/solo/orchestral work titled "Of War" was premiered on April 9, 2015 at the University of Illinois. Three movements are based on texts by Spratlan and Constance Congdon, and the text of the third movement "Vigil Strange" is from the collection Drum-Taps, book 21 of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
List of compositions
- Travels (commissioned by the Rutgers University Glee Club, 2011)
- Vespers Cantata: Hesperus is Phosphorus (commissioned by The Crossing and the Network for New Music, 2012)
- Daniel J. Wakin (2010-04-11). "An Opera's Very Long Overture". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- ""Mega-Ditties", Music by Retiring Professor Lewis Spratlan, at Amherst College Feb. 19" (Press release). Amherst College. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- Kozinn, Allan (2003-11-14). "Eclecticism and Humor in Works by Lewis Spratlan". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
- Tommasini, Anthony (2002-06-23). "New Operas Are Booming, But the Bold Aren't Heard". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
- Tommasini, Anthony (2010-07-25). "Overdue Debut for Composer and Exiled Prince". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
- Frayne, John (2015-04-26). "UI groups join forces for fantastic performance". The News-Gazette. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Lewis Spratlan: In Memoriam Review". Retrieved 16 November 2011.
- "Amherst College Composer Lewis Spratlan Has New Recording" (Press release). Amherst College. 17 February 2005. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- "Innova Recordings: Hesperus is Phosphorus.". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Heinz Dietrich Fischer; Erika J. Fischer (2002). Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize Winners, 1917-2000 Journalists, Writers and Composers on Their Ways to the Coveted Awards. Walter de Gruyter. p. 230. ISBN 978-3-598-30186-5.