LOU HARRISON (1917 - 2003)
in Portland in 1917, the American composer Lou Harrison won a particular
reputation for his percussion music, his experiments in intonation, and his
synthesis of East and West in his music. A pupil and friend of Henry
Cowell, whose interest in other musical traditions he shared, he also profited
from a close study of the work of Charles Ives. He collaborated with John
Cage in San Francisco, studied under Schoenberg in Los Angeles, wrote under
Virgil Thomson in New York, continuing a varied career and the development of
his many gifts as a poet, artist and musician.
and Instrumental Music
Lou Harrison's compositions include four symphonies, but the greater part of his
work lies in a wide variety of compositions for Western and Eastern
instruments, notably, in the latter case, for the gamelan, with which he
experimented in later years. His Suite for Symphonic Strings, with
its opening Estampie and allusive classical movement titles is
characteristic of the breadth of his cultural and musical grasp.
Harrison's varied compositions for
voices include his Strict Songs for eight baritones and chamber
orchestra, completed in 1955.