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Composers on CD LE326,

The Verdehr Trio

Max Bruch (1838-1920) was born in Cologne. Hailed as a "wunderkind," he won the Frankfurt Mozart Foundation Prize when he was fourteen with a string quartet he had composed. The scholarship money assured him four years of composition and piano studies with Ferdinand Hiller, Carl Reinecke, and Ferdinand Breunung. Bruch established himself as a music teacher and composer in Cologne in 1858, producing his first opera that same year. During the 1860s and 1870s he devoted himself to composition while traveling throughout central Europe. In 1880 Bruch moved to England. He composed his Symphony No. 3 for the New York Symphony Society in 1882 and heard it and his epic cantata Arminius performed in Boston when he visited the United States in 1883.

He returned to Europe later that year to assume the leadership of the Orchesterverein in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), leaving that position in 1891 to join the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he was professor of composition and later vice president of the school. Max Bruch's long life spanned a period of tremendous dynamism and a wide variety of musical fashions in Western music. Through it all, he remained consistent in his own creative output with many of the conventions of late Romanticism, displaying a fine sense of both melody and classically-derived yet freely-treated form. Noted in his time for his many sacred and secular choral compositions, Bruch is perhaps best remembered today for his works for violin and orchestra such as the "Concerto in G Minor" and the "Scottish Fantasy."

Leslie Bassett (b.1923): California-born composer Leslie Bassett has spent much of his life at the University of Michigan. Early training on piano, trombone, cello, and other instruments led to Bassett's wartime service in Europe with the l3th Armored Division Band. He pursued music degrees at Fresno State College and the University of Michigan and studied composition with Ross Lee Finney, Arthur Honegger, Nadia Boulanger, Roberto Gerhard, and Mario Davidovsky. Bassett joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1952, chaired the composition department from 1970 to 1985, and helped found the Electronic Music Studio there.

Bassett was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1966 for his Variations for Orchestra, which represented the United States at the UNESCO International Rostrum for Composers in Paris that year. Bassett's Echoes from an Invisible World, commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial, was later chosen by the League of Composers and the International Society for Contemporary Music to represent the United States at the 1980 World Music Days in Tel Aviv. Bassett's many grants, awards, and fellowships include those from the Guggenheim Foundation, Walter Naumberg Foundation, National Institute of Arts and Letters, National Council for the Arts and Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, University of Michigan, and the Koussevitsky and McKim Foundations in the Library of Congress.

Charles Hoag (b.1931) is professor of music theory and composition at the University of Kansas. He also teaches double bass and has been the conductor of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra since 1978. Hoag earned his B.M. at Iowa University in 1954 and his M.M. at the University of Redlands the following year. He then served as bassist with the New Orleans Philharmonic before undertaking further musical studies at the University of Iowa where he was awarded his Ph.D. in composition in 1962. From 1963 until 1968, when he assumed his current position at the University of Kansas, Hoag lived in Oklahoma City where he taught at the University of Oklahoma and served as bassist with the Oklahoma City Symphony. His recent honors include grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, International Society of Bassists, University of Kansas, and ASCAP.

Katherine Hoover (b.1937) lives in New York. She was born in West Virginia and grew up in a Philadelphia suburb. Hoover has received commissions and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Academy of Arts & Letters, Ditson Fund of Columbia University, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and many other organizations. Her works have been presented throughout the United States and abroad by such soloists and groups as John Cheek; Eddie Daniels; the Harrisburg and Santa Fe Symphonies; Women's Philharmonic; the Dorian, Sylvan, Hudson Valley and Richards Wind Quintets; Atlanta Chamber Players; New Jersey Chamber Music Society; Alard Quartet; and the Huntingdon and Verdehr Trios. As a flutist, Hoover has given concerto performances at Lincoln Center, performed in all of New York's major halls, and made numerous recordings. She holds degrees from the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music and has taught at Juilliard; the Manhattan School of Music; and Teachers College, Columbia University.




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