Louis W. Ballard
|Louis W. Ballard|
July 8, 1931
Devil's Promenade, Oklahoma, US
|Died||February 9, 2007
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US
|Education||University of Oklahoma, University of Tulsa|
|Known for||Musical composition, writing, painting|
Louis W. Ballard (July 8, 1931 – February 9, 2007) was a Native American composer, educator, author, artist, and journalist.
Ballard, who was of Cherokee, Quapaw, French and Scottish heritage, was born in the Native American community of Devil's Promenade, located near Quapaw, in northeast Oklahoma. His Quapaw name was Honganozhe, meaning "Stands With Eagles."
Ballard studied music at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa, where his composition instructor was Bela Rozsa; he later studied privately with Darius Milhaud, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Carlos Surinach, and Felix Labunski. He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1962, and became an instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts, teaching there until 1975.
Ballard composed numerous orchestral, choral, and chamber works, many composed on Native American themes or using texts in Native American languages. In addition, he compiled several volumes of Native American songs for classroom use. His best known pieces are "Incident at Wounded Knee" and "Why the Duck Has a Short Tail".
Ballard died February 9, 2007, at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 75 years old, and had battled cancer for about five years before his death.
Ballard was the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. In February 1997 he received a Lifetime Musical Achievement Award from the First Americans in the Arts in Beverly Hills, California. The College of Santa Fe and William Jewell College awarded him honorary Doctor of Music degrees. In 2004 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. He was initiated into the Alpha Chi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at University of Tulsa in 1952.
- 1971 - Discovering American Indian Music. Directed by Bernard Wilets. Barr Films.
- "Louis W. Ballard: Composer Fuses World With Native Sound", by Brenda Norrell, from Indian Country Today, September 2, 2004
- Louis W. Ballard official site at the Wayback Machine
- Louis W. Ballard page from Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
- Program note for Incident at Wounded Knee, from American Composers Orchestra site
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Ballard, Louis
- Louis W. Ballard obituary, by David Collins and Craig Smith, from The New Mexican
- "American Indian Composers Go Classical", by Felix Contreras, from All Things Considered, January 1, 2009