ELIE SIEGMEISTER (1909 - 1991)
A composition pupil of Wallingford Riegger at Columbia, the American composer Eli Siegmeister went on to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In the United States he held various important teaching positions, notably at Hofstra University, where he was also for 10 years composer-in-residence.
Vocal, Stage, Orchestral and Chamber Music
Siegmeister did much to foster a distinctively American musical idiom, derived from folksong. He contributed to most genres of music, with settings of texts by American poets, a number of stage works (culminating in the operatic works Angel Levine and The Lady of the Lake, based on Bernard Malamud), nine symphonies, and varied chamber music.
Siegmeister’s piano music includes five sonatas and a number of pieces that reflect American life, among them American Sonata, Sunday in Brooklyn and From These Shores, the last with its evocation of various American writers, from Whitman to Faulkner.