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Norman Lloyd played a significant rôle in many facets of American musical life in the 20th century, although neither his name nor his music is often heard today. Born in Pottsville, PA, Lloyd received his undergraduate and graduate training in music at New York University (1932; 1936). His career owed much to his relationship with William Schuman during the 1930s and 40s. In 1936 he joined the music faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where Schuman was already experimenting with his own ideas regarding music pedagogy. When Schuman assumed the presidency of The Juilliard School in 1945, he took Lloyd with him, and the two men, in consultation with Vincent Persichetti and Richard Franko Goldman, developed the Literature and Materials Program, which revolutionised music education in America.

But during those early years Lloyd had other interests as well. One of these was modern dance. After accompanying Martha Hill’s classes at NYU, he spent his summers at Bennington College (1934–42), where, as accompanist, he became acquainted with a number of distinguished choreographers, chief among them Martha Graham, as well as Doris Humphrey and José Limón. In fact, in 1935 Graham commissioned him to compose music for Panorama, Bennington’s first major dance production, which included Puritan Hymn (heard on this recording). It is thus no surprise that it was Lloyd who developed the dance department at Juilliard in 1951. During the Depression he and his wife Ruth performed jazz and popular music as a piano duo. Lloyd also became interested in film, and composed music for more than 30 documentaries before and during World War II. Perhaps the accomplishment for which he was best known was providing the musical arrangements for The Fireside Book of Folksongs (1947), as well as for several other popular collections of folksongs that graced the pianos in thousands of American homes during the late 1940s and 50s.

Upon earning his doctorate from the Philadelphia Conservatory in 1963, Lloyd accepted the position of dean of the Oberlin College Conservatory. While there he co-authored—along with Arnold Fish—the widely used textbook Fundamentals of Sight Singing and Ear Training (1964). In 1965 he was invited to join the Rockefeller Foundation as director of arts programming. During this period he found the time to write the Golden Encyclopedia of Music (1968). He remained at Rockefeller until his retirement in 1972, and died of leukemia in July 1980.

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SHAKESPEARE, W.: Merchant of Venice, The / Macbeth (Welles) (1938, 1941) Naxos Classical Archives
Plays - Shakespeare

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