Philip Bezanson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philip Thomas Bezanson (January 6, 1916 – March 11, 1975) was an American composer and educator.


Born in Athol, Massachusetts, he graduated from Yale University School of Music in 1940 and after war services enrolled in the graduate program of composition at the State University of Iowa where he joined its faculty eight years later. In 1951 he received his Ph.D. and later became head of composition. He was made a professor in 1961. He was given a Distinguished Alumnus award by Yale.

A prolific and productive composer, Bezanson won several prestigious awards and received commissions from, among others, Dimitri Mitropoulos, who commissioned a piano concerto in 1952. His most famous work is perhaps the opera Golden Child, written in 1960 to a libretto by Paul Engle. The work was commissioned by the NBC Opera Theatre and first performed on television on the Hallmark Hall of Fame program. Several of his vocal and choral works use texts by Engle as well.

His notable students included Olly Wilson, M. William Karlins, Karen Tarlow, and James Yannatos. See: List of music students by teacher: A to B#Philip Bezanson.

He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.[1][failed verification]

List of works[edit]

Stage works[edit]

  • Golden Child, opera in 3 acts (1960)
  • Stranger in Eden, opera in 3 acts (1963)

Orchestral works[edit]

  • Symphony no 1 in b
  • Symphony no 2
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, overture
  • Dance scherzo
  • Fantasy, fugue and finale for strings (1951)
  • Concerto for piano and orchestra (1952)
  • Rondo-prelude for orchestra (1954)
  • Anniversary Overture (1956)
  • Capriccio Concertante (1967)
  • Sinfonia Concertante (1971)

Chamber works[edit]

  • Children's suite, piano (1946)
  • Sextet for woodwinds and piano (1956)
  • Divertimento for eight wind instruments
  • Duo for cello and piano (1965)
  • Brass sextet (1974)