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The Huntingdon Trio

Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) was born in Policka, Czechoslovakia. Finding satisfaction with neither the education nor the musical life of Prague, he went to Paris in 1923, where he studied for some years with Albert Roussel. He clearly came to feel at home in France and no doubt would have spent the rest of his life there had not World War II intervened. Of necessity, he fled in great haste from the German conquerors, spending several months in the South of France before embarking on a harrowing journey to the United States via Barcelona and Lisbon.

Life in America was hard for him, as it was for many of the other outstanding artists who arrived in similar circumstances. Lack of knowledge of English, lack of funds, and lack of opportunities to use their talents were problems common to all of these people at first. However, Martinu did acclimate himself. He composed a great deal and taught at the Mannes School of Music most of the period from 1948-1956. His last years were spent in Switzerland. While it is hardly possible to assert that his works have been neglected, it is equally true that they have only begun to receive the attention they deserve. While Martinu's six symphonies are his best-known works, he wrote prolifically in almost all media: concerti, solo works, operas, ballets, songs, and an abundance of chamber music.

Walter Burle Marx (1902-1990) was one of the most accomplished musicians that Brazil has produced and one of its most admired composers. Born in Sao Paulo in 1902, Marx began his career as a pianist, studying with Enrique Oswald and in Berlin with James Kwast. He concertized in Brazil and throughout Europe during the 1920s and studied with Reznicek and Weingartner, turning to conducting in the early 1930s.

In 1931, Marx founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of Rio de Janeiro, which gave many notable premieres. He was the first to organize youth concerts in Brazil, and was Music Director of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. He became Artistic Director of the Opera Rio de Janeiro in 1947. Marx was also guest conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Detroit and National Symphony Orchestras. He taught piano and composition from 1952-1977 at Philadelphia's Settlement Music School and continued to compose. His richly varied output includes symphonic works, cantatas, choral pieces, songs, and chamber music.

David Loeb (b.1939) was born in in New York and has continued to live there. He studied composition with Peter Stearns (who had been a student of Martinu) at the Mannes College of Music. He teaches there and at the Curtis Institute of Music. Several of his works have been issued on the Grenadilla and Gasparo labels. Since 1964 Loeb has composed extensively for Japanese instruments and for early Western instruments (especially the viola da gamba), and influences from these instruments sometimes carry over to his works for more conventional media.

Ned Rorem (b.1923): Born in Richmond, Indiana and reared in Chicago, Ned Rorem attended Northwestern University where, many years later, he received his first honorary doctorate. He also studied at The Curtis Institute and at Juilliard (M.A. degree 1948). Soon after, Rorem moved to Morocco and then to France where he lived until 1958. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Rorem has also been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, three Ford Foundation grants, several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a grant from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (to which he was elected a member in 1979). His instrumental pieces have been conducted by such international artists as Bernstein, Mitropoulos, Ormandy, Paray, Mehta, Reiner, Steinberg, and Stokowski.




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