William Duckworth, classical music composer
(born 13 January 1943) is an American composer who also is an author, educator and Internet pioneer. He has written more than 200 pieces of music and is credited with the composition of the first postminimal piece of music, The Time Curve Preludes (1977-1978), for piano. His other notable compositions include Thirty-One Days (1987), for alto saxophone, and Southern Harmony (1980-1981), a choral work which uses certain features of shape note singing. Duckworth is a Professor of Music at Bucknell University. Nora Farrell, his wife, runs Monroe Street Music, which publishes many of his pieces. In recent years, Duckworth has concentrated on releasing music at his Cathedral Web site and has shifted much of his attention from music composed for traditional acoustic instruments to electronic music which utilizes world music influences and invites active participation from the listener.
William Duckworth was born in North Carolina in 1943. He obtained a bachelor's degree in music from East Carolina University, then master's and doctorates in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He studied composition under composer Ben Johnston and wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the notation of composer John Cage. (Duckworth's music publishing and record company, Monroe Street Music, is named after the street in New York City where Cage lived and worked.) In 2002 he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. Over the years Duckworth has enjoyed a close collaboration with James Jordan who frequently performs Duckworth's music with his world-renowned choral ensembles.
Duckworth has written more than 200 pieces of music. His best-known compositions include The Time Curve Preludes, 24 short pieces for piano which critic and composer Kyle Gann has described as the first work of postminimalism, and Southern Harmony, which consists of 20 pieces for an eight-part chorus and employs features of shape note singing and minimalism. Other works include Mysterious Numbers, written for chamber orchestra, Imaginary Dances, for solo piano, and Simple Songs about Sex and War, written in collaboration with poet Hayden Carruth.
Meditations on Satie
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