NORMAN DELLO JOIO (1913 - 2008)
From childhood an organist, like his father, who had emigrated from Italy, Norman Dello Joio had his musical education in New York at the Institute of Musical Art and the Juilliard Graduate School, and briefly at Yale under Hindemith, an important influence on his approach to composition. He won early success as a composer, achieving performances under leading conductors and a number of awards, with music that drew largely on his own Catholic Italian background and on the music he heard in New York, in particular jazz. He enjoyed an active teaching career, with positions at Mannes College and later at Boston University.
Dello Joio’s The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony was drawn from his opera on the subject of the French saint, and later presented by Martha Graham as a ballet. His orchestral compositions range from his Piano Concertino of 1938 to his more recent Lyric Dances, which are generally in a tonal idiom while including a contemporary use of dissonance and irregular rhythms, with some unusual instrumentation.