William Schuman

  • William Howard Schuman was born in New York City on August 4, 1910, the second child of Samuel and Rachel Schuman. He began to study the violin as a young boy and later played a number of other instruments as well. His broad musical interests ranged form his own jazz band and the school orchestra to family evenings singing operetta and musical comedy excerpts as well as “semiclassics.” On his own, he wrote some original popular songs. But music definitely took second place to Schuman’s all-consuming passion, baseball. Looking back on his youth, he would later claim that baseball was the main focus of his early years.

    In 1928, Schuman entered New York University to prepare for a business degree at the School of Commerce, while at the same time working for an advertising agency. He continued to collaborate on pop songs with E.B. Marks, Jr., an old friend from summer camp, and also created some forty songs with lyricist Frank Loesser, a neighbor who was also at the beginning of his career. Loesser’s first publication, in fact, was a song with music by Schuman. Together they wrote many songs for radio, vaudeville, and nightclub acts. In April 1930, having attended (albeit unwillingly) his first professional symphony orchestra concert, Schuman suddenly realized that baseball, business, and popular music must be relegated to subsidiary positions (but never forgotten) in favor of composing “classical” or concert music.

    Realizing that extensive training would be necessary to reach his goals, Schuman withdrew from New York University to study harmony with Max Persin and to hear as many concerts and operas as he could. He began counterpoint lessons with Charles Haubiel and at The Juilliard School attended summer courses in orchestration with Adolf Schmid and harmony with Bernard Wagenaar. Two years at Teachers College of Columbia University not only earned Schuman a B.S. in music education (1935), but also set him thinking about the current state of music education and how strongly he felt the need to reform and improve it.

    In the fall of 1935, Schuman settled into his first teaching position, at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, N.Y., where he remained on the faculty for a decade. Highlights of his life during these years were his marriage to Frances (“Frankie”) Prince on March 27, 1936, sporadic composition studies with Roy Harris, an M.A. from Columbia University (1937), and the first successful public performances of his music. Although Schuman later withdrew several of his earliest efforts, it was these orchestral and chamber compositions that generated his first prizes and commissions. His Symphony No. 2 came to the attention of Aaron Copland, who wrote in Modern Music (May, 1938): “Schuman is, as far as I am concerned, the musical find of the year. There is nothing puny or miniature about this young man’s talent.”

    In 1944, G. Schirmer, Inc. appointed Schuman Director of Publications. He began work there even before leaving the Sarah Lawrence faculty and continued to serve Schirmer as Special Publications Consultant after moving in 1945 to his next post, the presidency of The Juilliard School. During the 1940s Schuman received his first honorary doctorates, became the father of a son and daughter, and was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize ever given in the field of musical composition. In spite of the heavy demands of his Juilliard presidency : into which he threw himself wholeheartedly, making essential and lasting improvements in the school : he remained first and foremost a composer. Schuman is a rarity among composers in that he was always able to balance his creative endeavors with administrative duties, classroom teaching, writing, public service, consultancy work, and public speaking.

    Schuman was clearly fond of public speaking, an activity at which he had always triumphed. In 1961, Harold C. Schonberg wrote of him in The New York Times Magazine “the man can speak with the fervor, hypnotism and eloquence of Gielgud on one of his better days.” Schonberg further stated, in the words of an awed observer, “he is by far the most brilliant off-the-cuff speaker in America.” In one BMI brochure, Oliver Daniel claimed that Schuman “possesses in abundance the intellectual agility and personality quotient that stamp a man ‘presidential caliber.’” Indeed, Schuman was a man of multiple talents and boundless energy who accomplished in his long career what might have been achieved in the lifetimes of four or five ordinary mortals.

    As Juilliard president, Schuman convinced the planners of Lincoln Center that the School should become one of its constituent organizations. It was not long before the Lincoln Center board of directors named him to preside over the entire complex. Schuman’s tenure as president of Lincoln Center began in January, 1962, months before the official opening of Philharmonic Hall [as Avery Fisher Hall was then known], the first completed building. He guided the growth of Lincoln Center, establishing both the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. During this time, he continued to add to his own catalogue of compositions. In 1968, Schuman suffered a heart attack, and while recuperating, took stock of his personal and professional priorities. His ultimate decision was that he should forgo major administrative posts, and therefore would resign from Lincoln Center. Effective January 1, 1969, he was named President Emeritus, as he had earlier been designated by the Juilliard School.

    This change was far from a retirement, but not having a full-time position allowed Schuman more freedom to compose and still participate in the dozens of organizations he served as consultant, officer, board member or advisor. Schuman was never one just to donate his name to a cause or a letterhead, but always believed in working for any foundation, school corporation, or agency with which he was connected. For four decades he provided invaluable direction to the BMI Student Composer Awards. First as a founder, then as chairman of the judging panel, and finally as chairman emeritus, Schuman was a guiding light and an inspiration for over 350 student composer award winners; his interest in their training, accomplishments, and styles of composition never waned.

    Amid all Schuman’s awards, honors, prizes, and glowing reviews, perhaps what he treasured most were the strongly supportive opinions of his colleagues. Aaron Copland, when presenting Schuman with the MacDowell Colony Medal in 1971, said:

    In Schuman’s pieces you have the feeling that only an American could have written them. You hear it in his orchestration, which is full of snap and brilliance. You hear it in the kind of American optimism which is at the basis of his music.

    Schuman’s impressive catalogue of works is especially rich in orchestral, band, and choral music. He continued the strong American symphonic tradition of such predecessors as Roy Harris and Walter Piston and is particularly recognized for his mastery of orchestration. On of : if not the : most popular of Schuman’s works is his orchestration of Charles Ives’ Variations on “America.” Created in response to a twentieth-anniversary commission from BMI and first performed in 1964, this brilliant orchestration enjoyed extraordinary popularity during the U.S. Bicentennial year. Along with New England Triptych and American Festival Overture, it remains one of his most frequently performed works.

    In his orchestral compositions Schuman was fond of differentiating the various sections of the orchestra by creating distinct blocks of color; he used a large orchestra, but used it wisely and with great clarity. He drew on a variety of compositional devices, from fugues, canons, and passacaglias, to toccata, chorale, or variation procedures. He always had a clear plan for the ultimate large-dimension structure of a work. His basic building block may have been a small unit : as the three-note melodic germ in American Festival Overture : but he planned on a large scale, setting up tension and building suspense to a dramatic climax.

    Traditional tonality was not a framework which Schuman was bound by, and he did not write his scores with key signatures. He did not restrict his harmonic vocabulary, but used an ample palette of chromaticism and the entire range of scales and modes in Western music. He could create powerful and thick harmonic structures; while these may sometimes sound polytonal, a tonal resolution usually follows. Long spun-out melodies and majestic arcs of sound characterize many of Schuman’s orchestral works. His rhythmic style is vital, full of variety, and intense : but never nervously so. Whether in simple ostinati, in complex rhythmic counterpoint, or in his characteristic cross rhythms, Schuman reveals his strong rhythmic foundations, undoubtedly gained in part from his early days with jazz and popular music.

    In Schuman’s works based on pre-existing music, he absorbed elements of the source into his own style, while still maintaining the integrity of the original. In New England Triptych and the Concerto on Old English Rounds, his approach ranges from almost literal quotation to a wide range of juxtapositions, and transformations with extensive melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic alterations, as well as wholly new concepts of form and orchestration. The great variety and skill with which he handled his materials are demonstrated particularly well in the group of three works based on the old English round “Amaryllis”: the “Amaryllis” Variations for string trio, Concerto on Old English Rounds (using “Amaryllis” as the basis for the first and final movements), and Amaryllis (Variants on an Old English Round), a brief version for string orchestra.

    Along with Schuman’s re-use of pre-existing music should be mentioned his reworking of several of his compositions. Among the most performed important works available in more than one version are the Variations on “America” American Hymn, and New England Triptych. Others include The Mighty Casey (opera), Casey at the Bat (cantata), and the separately published Choruses from the Mighty Casey; The Orchestra Song and The Band Song; choral and solo versions of Holiday Song; and In Sweet Music and A Song of Orpheus, both derived from his early song Orpheus with His Lute.

    In the world of choral music, Schuman is known as a master of both a cappella and accompanied styles, of both extended cantatas and short pieces, including some written for amateurs. With a special emphasis on American poetry, he was particularly discriminating in his choice of texts. The poetry of Walt Whitman, Archibald MacLeish, Genevieve Taggard, Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Thomas Wolfe, among others, inspired him. It is difficult to imagine anything more American than Casey at the Bat, or the Mail Order Madrigals, which are settings of texts from the Sears Roebuck catalog.

    After writing many pop songs in his youth (estimated to be a hundred or more, but, alas, not a hit among them), Schuman evinced a marked preference for orchestral and choral music during most of his career. In the late 1970s, he began adding more music with voice to his catalog, including In Sweet Music, The Young Dead Soldiers, and Time to the Old. Even more significantly, his two major works of the 1980s featured solo voice(s): On Freedom’s Ground and A Question of Taste.

    On Freedom’s Ground, with a text by Richard Wilbur (a Pulitzer Prize winner who was named U.S. Poet Laureate in 1987), celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The work received some two dozen performances in the two years following its premiere (October 28, 1986, the very day of the statue’s rededication). Reporting on the gala concert, Stephen Holden in the New York Times described Schuman’s large-scale cantata as a “characteristically imposing mixture of lofty late-Romantic chromaticism and elegant New-Classical formality.” Writing of the premiere of A Question of Taste, Willard Spiegelman commented in the Wall Street Journal “In his creative maturity, Mr. Schuman has composed a chamber opera that celebrates the triumph of youth, passion and idealism over the schemings of age, greed and money.” Other late works also prove that Schuman’s outlook remained young and his creative energies retained their usual vitality. Indeed, he continued to compose new works as he entered his eighties. When Schuman received a 1989 Kennedy Center Honor “for an extraordinary lifetime of contributions to American culture.” Schuyler Chapin aptly wrote in the program book “William Schuman is an amalgam of carefully wrought creativity, rhetoric and logic.” Schuman always enjoyed the highest esteem of his colleagues in the arts, who were always ready to extol his virtues as a composer, administrator and friend. For instance, Leonard Bernstein penned an enthusiastic introductory note to the William Schuman Documentary (1980) by Christopher Rouse. Written just before Schuman’s seventieth birthday, it is still an equally appropriate salute to this master of American music:

    I have rarely met a composer who is so faithfully mirrored in his music; the man is the music. We are all familiar with the attributes generally ascribed to his compositions: vitality, optimism, enthusiasm, long lyrical line, rhythmic impetuosity, bristling counterpoint, brilliant textures, dynamic tension. But what is not so often remarked is what I treasure most: the human qualities that flow directly from the man into the works : compassion, fidelity, insight, and total honesty.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    16751 A Question of Taste
    Opera in One Act, after a story by Roald Dahl
    50:00 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 0; 2Perc. Cel. Str.
    446-41006 A Song Of Orpheus
    Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra
    20:00 Orchestra
    15014 A Song of Orpheus
    Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra or Chamber Orchestra
    20:00 Orch.: Solo Vcl.; 3 3 2 2 – 4 0 0 0; Hp. Str.
    Chamber Orch. Version: Solo Vcl.; 2 2 3 2 – 1 0 0 0; Hp. Str.
    444-41001 A Song Of Orpheus
    Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra
    446-41030 Amaryllis
    Variants for String On An Old English Song – Score
    String Ensemble
    15001 Amaryllis
    Variants on an Old English Round for String Orchestra
    10:00 Str.
    15002 American Hymn
    27:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Str.
    446-41044 American Hymn
    Orchestral Variations On An Original Melody
    444-41000 Concerto Fo Violin and Orchestra
    (Piano Reduction)
    Violin with Piano
    446-41002 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    For Violin and Orchestra
    26:00 Violin, Orchestra
    15006 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    26:00 Solo Vln.; 3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
    410-41227 Concerto On Old English Rounds
    For Viola, Women’s Chorus, and Orchestra (Piano Reduction and Solo Viola Part)
    446-41021 Concerto On Old English Rounds
    For Viol, Women’s Chorus, and Orchestra – Study Score
    40:00 Orchestra
    15004 Concerto On Old English Rounds
    for Viola, Women’s Chorus and Orchestra
    40:00 Solo Vla., SSAA Choir; 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Chimes, Str.
    15007 Credendum
    18:00 4 4 5 4 – 6 4 3 2; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    446-41017 In Praise Of Shahn (Cant)
    15008 In Praise of Shahn
    Canticle for Orchestra
    17:30 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    15009 New England Triptych
    13:00 3 3 4 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    444-41011 Night Journey
    Choreographic Poem for Fifteen Instruments
    21:25 Chamber Orchestra
    15010 Night Journey
    20:00 1 1 1 1 – 1 0 0 0; Pno. Str. (2 2 2 2 1)
    15012 Philharmonic Fanfare
    1:30 4 4 5 3 – 6 4(in C) 3 2; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    446-41062 Showcase
    A Short Display for Orchestra – Full Score
    4:00 Orchestra
    15013 Showcase: A Short Display for Orchestra
    4:00 3 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Str.
    446-41003 Symphony No.7
    30:00 Orchestra
    15015 Symphony No. 7
    26:00 4 4 5 4 – 6 4 3 2; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    15017 Symphony No. 8
    30:00 Full Orchestra: 4 4 4 4 – 6 4(in C) 4 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. 2Hp. Str.
    Reduced Orchestra: 3 3 3 3 – 6 4(in C) 4 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. 2Hp. Str.
    446-41016 Symphony No. 9
    30:00 Orchestra
    15018 Symphony No. 9, “Le fosse ardeatine”
    22:30 3 4 4 4 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Str.
    446-41029 Symphony No. 10
    American Muse – Study Score
    30:00 Orchestra
    15019 Symphony No. 10, “The American Muse”
    30:00 4 4 4 4 – 6 4 4 1; Timp. 6Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    146-40000 The Orchestra Song
    3:30 Orchestra
    15024 The Witch of Endor
    30:00 1 1 1 1 – 1 1 1 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    444-41015 The Young Dead Soldiers
    Lamentation for Soprano, French Horn, Eight Woodwinds and Nine Strings
    446-41040 Three Colloquies
    For French Horn and Orchestra
    144-40085 Three Colloquies
    For French Horn and Orchestra (Piano Reduction and Solo Horn Part)
    15020 Three Colloquies
    for Horn and Orchestra
    24:00 Solo Hn.; 3 2 3 2 – 0 3 0 0; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    446-41015 To Thee Old Cause
    Evocation for Oboe, Brass, Timpani, Piano and Strings (Score)
    14:30 Chamber Orchestra
    15021 To Thee, Old Cause
    Evocation for Oboe, Brass, Timpani, Piano and Strings
    10976 Variations on “America”
    (Orchestra Version by William Schuman)(arr.)
    8:00 3 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
    15022 Variations on “America”
    (based on an organ composition by Charles Ives)
    8:00 3 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
    446-41010 Variations On “America”
    For Orchestra(arr.)
    15023 Voyage
    for Orchestra
    25:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    446-41020 Voyage for Orchestra
    Cycle Of Five Pieces – Study Score
    25:00 Orchestra
    15025 Young Dead Soldiers, The
    Lamentation for Soprano, Horn, 8 Woodwinds and 9 Strings
    15:00 Solo Sop.; 2Ob. E.H. 2Cl. B.Cl. 2Bsn. 4Vla. 4Vcl. Cb.
    Wind Instruments and Percussion
    16859 American Hymn
    Arrangement for Band
    145-40022 American Hymn
    Variations On An Original Melody, for Concert Band (Full Score and Parts)
    27:00 Concert Band
    15003 Anniversary Fanfare
    for Brass and Percussion
    145-40016 Be Glad Then, America
    Freely Transcribed for Concert Band By The Composer From The First Movement Of New England Triptych-Three Pieces for Orchestra After William Billings
    7:00 Concert Band
    145-40000 Chester
    Overture for Band
    6:00 Concert Band
    16860 Credendum
    Arrangement for Band
    446-41000 Credendum
    Article Of Faith, for Orchestra – Full Score
    18:00 Orchestra
    446-41053 Dances
    Divertimento for Wind Quintet and Percussion (Study Score)
    9:30 Chamber Ensemble
    145-40008 Dedication Fanfare
    5:00 Concert Band
    145-40015 Prelude for A Great Occasion
    For Brass and Percussion
    5:00 Brass Ensemble
    145-40005 The Band Song
    For Band
    3:30 Concert Band
    145-40006 Variations On ‘America’ for Band
    For Band: Complete Set – Full Score, Condensed Score, and Parts(arr.)
    7:00 Concert Band
    145-40001 When Jesus Wept
    Prelude for Band
    5:00 Concert Band
    Chamber Music
    144-40017 Amaryllis
    8:00 String Trio
    144-40091 American Hymn
    Variations On An Original Melody, for Brass Quintet
    26:00 Brass Quintet
    144-40148 Awake Thou Wintry Earth
    Duo for Clarinet and Violin
    16:30 Clarinet, Violin
    144-40150 Cooperstown Fanfare
    For 2 Trumpets and 2 Trombones
    1:00 Brass Quartet
    144-40072 In Sweet Music
    Serenade On Setting Of Shakespeare
    144-40001 String Quartet No. 3
    24:00 String Quartet
    144-40161 String Quartet No. V
    30:00 String Quartet
    144-40553 When Jesus Wept
    From “New England Triptych,” Three Pieces for Orchestra After William Billings
    5:30 Saxophone Ensemble
    Piano and Organ
    440-40016 Chester Variations for Piano
    Based On William Biling’s Hymn and Marching Song Of The American Revolution
    6:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    140-40025 Three Piano Moods
    II. Pensive
    140-40026 Three Piano Moods
    III. Dynamic
    140-40024 Three Piano Moods
    Piano Unaccompanied
    440-40000 Voyage
    A Cycle Of Five Pieces for Piano
    Piano Unaccompanied
    143-40006 When Jesus Wept
    (From “”New England Triptych,”” Three Pieces for Orchestra After William Billings), for Organ
    5:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Choral / Vocal
    342-40029 1. Attention, Ladies!
    T.B.B., A Cappella
    Men’s Chorus
    342-40000 1. Health
    From “”Five Rounds On Famous Words””, S.A.T.B., A Cappella
    Mixed Chorus
    342-40011 1. The Last Invocation From “Carols Of Death”
    S.A.T.B., A Cappella
    342-40012 2. The Unknown Region (From “Carols Of Death”)
    For SATB, A Cappella
    342-40001 2. Thrift
    From “”Five Rounds On Famous Words,”” S.A.T.B., A Cappella
    Mixed Chorus
    342-40013 3. To All, To Each
    From “Carols Of Death” S.A.T.B., A Cappella
    342-40007 4. Beauty
    From “”Five Rounds On Famous Words””, Four-Part Treble Voices, A Cappella
    342-40003 4. Beauty
    From “”Five Rounds On Famous Words,”” for Satb, A Cappella
    Mixed Chorus
    342-40022 5. Haste (From “Five Rounds On Famous Words”)
    For Satb, A Cappella
    Mixed Chorus
    442-41010 5. Immigrants Still
    An American Cantata for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra
    40:00 SATB
    441-41020 A Question Of Taste
    Opera In One Act
    55:00 Opera without Chorus
    342-40002 Caution
    Mixed Chorus
    342-40006 Caution
    Three-Part Treble Voices, A Cappella
    Women’s Chorus
    342-40028 Declaration Chorale
    For Satb, A Cappella
    8:00 Mixed Chorus
    342-40015 Deo Ac Veritati
    342-40032 Dr. Worden’s Pills
    S.A.T.B., A Cappella
    342-40153 Esses
    Short Suite for Singers On Words Beginning With “”S
    12:00 Mixed Chorus
    342-40023 Haste
    Three-Part Treble Voices, A Cappella
    Women’s Chorus
    342-40004 Health
    For Four-Part Treble Voices, A Cappella
    446-41054 On Freedom’s Ground
    An American Cantata for Baritone, Chorus, and Orchestra
    40:00 Orchestra
    15011 On Freedom’s Ground
    for Baritone, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
    40:00 3(3Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str.
    342-40144 Perceptions
    Choral cycle on words of Walt Whitman for Mixed Voices, a cappella
    13:00 Mixed Chorus
    342-40155 Singaling
    Spiritual Blues: Mixed Voices, A Cappella
    342-40030 Superfluous Hair
    S.S.A.A., A Cappella
    342-40031 Sweet Refreshing Sleep
    S.A.T.B., A Ca[[E;;A
    342-40009 The Lord Has A Child
    3:00 SATB
    141-40003 The Lord Has A Child
    For Voice and Piano
    342-40159 The Lord Has A Child
    Hymn for Brass Quintet and Chorus (S.A.T.B. Chorus With Piano Reduction)
    6:00 SATB
    141-40004 The Lord Has A Child
    Medium Voice
    342-40008 The Lord Has A Child
    S.S.A. With Organ Or Piano Accompaniment
    3:00 Women’s Chorus
    342-40005 Thrift
    From Five Rounds On Famous Words
    441-41015 Time To The Old
    Three Song Set On Words Of Archibald Macleish
    342-40100 To Thy Love
    Choral Fantasy On Old English Rounds
    Women’s Chorus
    144-40509 Xxv Opera Snatches
    Alto Saxophone Unaccompanied
    444-41018 Xxv Opera Snatches
    For Unaccompanied Flute
    144-40074 Xxv Opera Snatches
    For Unaccompanied Trumpet In Bb

  • These pieces [Symphonies Nos. 4 and 9] are layered with dark mysteries that make you want to hear them again and again.
    –David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer

    …an impressive work and beautifully orchestrated; [the soloist’s] lyrical line was never overpowered.
    –Nick Breckenfield, ClassicalSource.com

    the searing, devastating account of William Schuman’s Symphony No. 9 (“Le fosse Ardeatine”) … made the evening memorable. […] bleak, somber landscape and uncompromising intensity [and] musical vision.
    –Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

  • Rosalind Rees Sings William Schuman ROSALIND REES SINGS WILLIAM SCHUMAN
    CRI/New World Records (NWCRL439); March 1, 2011
    Performer(s): Rees, soprano, Graham, horn, White Mountain Festival Orchestra, Schwarz, conductor
    Work(s): The Young Dead Soldiers Lamentation
    Time to the Old Three Song Set on words of Archibald MacLeish
    William Schuman WILLIAM SCHUMAN
    CRI/New World Records (NWCR791); February 1, 2007
    Performer(s): Rees, voice, Orpheus Trio
    Work(s): In Sweet Music Serenade on a Setting of Shakespeare
    Night Journey A Ballet
    American Visions AMERICAN VISIONS
    Summit Records (DCD365); August 1, 2003
    Performer(s): American Brass Quintet
    Work(s): American Hymn
    Variations for Orchestra VARIATIONS FOR ORCHESTRA
    First Edition Music (FECD-0001); May 13, 2003
    Performer(s): Louisville Orchestra, Whitney, conductor
    Work(s): Variations on “America”
    Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2, Variations on America SYMPHONIES NOS. 1 & 2, VARIATIONS ON AMERICA
    Eloquence (466806); January 21, 2002
    Performer(s): Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mehta, recordings
    Work(s): Variations on “America”
    I Hear America Singing I HEAR AMERICA SINGING
    Gregg Smith Singers Recordings (GSS110); August 8, 2000
    Performer(s): Gregg Smith Singers, Gregg Smith, conductor
    Work(s): Carols of Death
    Esses Short Suite for Singers on words beginning with S
    Five Rounds on Famous Words
    Mail Order Madrigals
    Perceptions Choral Cycle on words of Walt Whitman
    American Hymn Preludes AMERICAN HYMN PRELUDES
    Gasparo Records (GSCD-258); November 11, 1993
    Performer(s): Harbach, organ
    Work(s): When Jesus Wept Prelude for Organ
    American Masters AMERICAN MASTERS
    Time Life Music (R964-07); January 1, 1993
    Performer(s): Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Schwarz, conductor
    Work(s): New England Triptych
    William Schuman: Concerto for Violin & Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein: Serenade for Violin, String Orchestra, Harp & Percussion (after Plato's WILLIAM SCHUMAN: CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN & ORCHESTRA; LEONARD BERNSTEIN: SERENADE FOR VIOLIN, STRING ORCHESTRA, HARP & PERCUSSION (AFTER PLATO’S “SYMPOSIUM”)
    Angel Records (CDC 7 49464 2); May 8, 1990
    Performer(s): McDuffie, violin, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Slatkin, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    Juilliard Orchestra: Schuman/ Copland/ Sessions JUILLIARD ORCHESTRA: SCHUMAN/ COPLAND/ SESSIONS
    CRI/New World Records (80368); January 1, 1988
    Performer(s): Juilliard Orchestra, Mueller, conductor
    Work(s): In Praise of Shahn Canticle
    Songs of America SONGS OF AMERICA
    Elektra/Nonesuch Records (79178); January 1, 1988
    Performer(s): Jan DeGaetani, voice, Gilbert Kalish, piano
    Work(s): Time to the Old Three Song Set on words of Archibald MacLeish
    Symphony No. 7 / Steel Symphony SYMPHONY NO. 7 / STEEL SYMPHONY
    CRI/New World Records (80348); January 1, 1987
    Performer(s): Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Maazel, conductor
    Work(s): Symphony No. 7
    American Piano Music AMERICAN PIANO MUSIC
    Etcetera Records (ETC-1036); January 1, 1986
    Performer(s): Bennett Lerner, piano
    Work(s): Voyage a Cycle of Five Pieces for Piano
    A Haunted Landscape/ Three Colloquies for Horn and Orchestra A HAUNTED LANDSCAPE/ THREE COLLOQUIES FOR HORN AND ORCHESTRA
    CRI/New World Records (80326); January 1, 1985
    Performer(s): Myers, horn, New York Philharmonic, Mehta, conductor
    Work(s): Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra
    Magabunda / American Hymn MAGABUNDA / AMERICAN HYMN
    Elektra/Nonesuch Records (79072); January 1, 1984
    Performer(s): St. Louis Symphony, Slatkin, conductor
    Work(s): American Hymn
    Concerto on Old English Rounds for Viola / Women's Chorus and Orchestra CONCERTO ON OLD ENGLISH ROUNDS FOR VIOLA / WOMEN’S CHORUS AND ORCHESTRA
    Columbia Masterworks (M-35101); January 1, 1978
    Performer(s): McInnes, viola, Camerata Singers, New York Philharmonic, Bernstein, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto on Old English Rounds
    The Moldau / Finlandia / Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, No. 1 / English Folk Song Suite / Variations On America THE MOLDAU / FINLANDIA / SLAVONIC DANCE, OP. 46, NO. 1 / ENGLISH FOLK SONG SUITE / VARIATIONS ON AMERICA
    London Records (SPC 21178); January 1, 1978
    Performer(s): Boston Pops Orchestra, Fiedler, conductor
    Work(s): Variations on “America”
    Spirit of '76 SPIRIT OF ’76
    Columbia Masterworks (MG-33728); January 1, 1976
    Performer(s): Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra
    Work(s): Variations on “America”
    Columbia Odyssey (Y-34140); January 1, 1976
    Performer(s): New York Philharmonic, Bernstein, conductor
    Work(s): Symphony No. 8
    Be Glad Then, America! / The Fun & Faith Of Willian Billings, American BE GLAD THEN, AMERICA! / THE FUN & FAITH OF WILLIAN BILLINGS, AMERICAN
    London Records (OS26442); January 1, 1975
    Performer(s): National Symphony Orchestra, Dorati, conductor
    Work(s): New England Triptych
    American String Quartets, Vol. 2 AMERICAN STRING QUARTETS, VOL. 2
    Vox Records (SVBX-5305); January 1, 1974
    Performer(s): Kohon Quartet
    Work(s): String Quartet No. 3
    Quartet No. 2 / Voyage QUARTET NO. 2 / VOYAGE
    Columbia Masterworks (CML-4987); January 1, 1973
    Performer(s): Beveridge Webster, piano
    Work(s): Voyage for Orchestra
    Symphony No. 3 • Credendum (Article Of Faith) SYMPHONY NO. 3 • CREDENDUM (ARTICLE OF FAITH)
    CRI/New World Records (SD 308); January 1, 1973
    Performer(s): Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy, conductor
    Work(s): Credendum – Article of Faith
    Schuman #9 (The Ardeatine Caves) Persichetti #9 (Sinfonia: Janiculum) SCHUMAN #9 (THE ARDEATINE CAVES) PERSICHETTI #9 (SINFONIA: JANICULUM)
    RCA Records (LSC 3212); January 1, 1971
    Performer(s): Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy, conductor
    Work(s): Symphony No. 9 “Le Fosse Ardeatine”
    Schuman: Violin Concerto / Piston: Symphony No. 2 SCHUMAN: VIOLIN CONCERTO / PISTON: SYMPHONY NO. 2
    Deutsche Grammaphon (2530 103); January 1, 1971
    Performer(s): Zukofsky, violin, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Thomas, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    Symphony No. 7 / Third Symphony SYMPHONY NO. 7 / THIRD SYMPHONY
    Turnabout Records (TV 34447S); January 1, 1971
    Performer(s): Utah Symphony, Abravanel, conductor
    Work(s): Symphony No. 7
    20th Century Orchestral Showpieces 20TH CENTURY ORCHESTRAL SHOWPIECES
    Decca Records (DL 710168); January 1, 1970
    Performer(s): Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rudolph, conductor
    Work(s): New England Triptych
    Centennial Fanfares CENTENNIAL FANFARES
    Metropolitan Museum of Art (AKS-10001); January 1, 1970
    Work(s): Anniversary Fanfare
    Concerto For Orchestra / In Praise Of Shahn (Canticle For Orchestra) CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA / IN PRAISE OF SHAHN (CANTICLE FOR ORCHESTRA)
    Columbia Masterworks (M-30112); January 1, 1970
    Performer(s): New York Philharmonic, Bernstein, conductor
    Work(s): In Praise of Shahn Canticle
    Symphony Number 2 / SYMPHONY NUMBER 2 / “TO THEE OLD CAUSE”
    Columbia Masterworks (MS-7392); January 1, 1970
    Performer(s): New York Philharmonic, Bernstein, conductor
    Work(s): To Thee, Old Cause Evocation for Oboe, Brass, Timpani, Piano and Strings
    Charles Ives: Symphony No. 3 • William Schuman: New England Triptych CHARLES IVES: SYMPHONY NO. 3 • WILLIAM SCHUMAN: NEW ENGLAND TRIPTYCH
    RCA Victor Records (LSC-3060); January 1, 1969
    Performer(s): Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy, conductor
    Work(s): New England Triptych
    Symphony No. 1 SYMPHONY NO. 1
    RCA Records (SB-6687); January 1, 1967
    Performer(s): Chicago Symphony, Gould, conductor
    Work(s): Variations on “America”
    New England Triptych; Symphony No. 5; Poem For Flute And Orchestra NEW ENGLAND TRIPTYCH; SYMPHONY NO. 5; POEM FOR FLUTE AND ORCHESTRA
    Mercury Records (SR 90379); January 1, 1964
    Performer(s): Eastman Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Hanson, conductor
    Work(s): New England Triptych
    Piano Concerto / A Song Of Orpheus PIANO CONCERTO / A SONG OF ORPHEUS
    Columbia Masterworks (MS-6638); January 1, 1964
    Performer(s): Rose, cello, Cleveland Orchestra, Szell, conductor
    Work(s): A Song of Orpheus
    Carter: Second Quartet / Schuman: Quartet No. 3 CARTER: SECOND QUARTET / SCHUMAN: QUARTET NO. 3
    RCA Living Stereo (LSC-2481); January 1, 1961
    Performer(s): Juilliard String Quartet
    Work(s): String Quartet No. 3
    The University of Michigan Band on Tour - 100 Men Strong THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN BAND ON TOUR – 100 MEN STRONG
    Vanguard Records (VRS-9114); January 1, 1961
    Performer(s): University of Michigan Symphonic Band, Revelli, conductor
    Work(s): Chester
    Band Masterpieces BAND MASTERPIECES
    Decca Records (DL 78633); January 1, 1958
    Performer(s): Goldman Band, Goldman, conductor
    Work(s): Chester
    Gordon String Quartet: String Quartet No. 3 (1939) GORDON STRING QUARTET: STRING QUARTET NO. 3 (1939)
    Concert Hall Records (AB (78 rpm)); January 1, 1947
    Performer(s): Gordon Quartet
    Work(s): String Quartet No. 3
    America AMERICA
    Columbia Masterworks (MS-7289)
    Performer(s): Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy, conductor
    Work(s): Variations on “America”

  • 1989: American Eagle Award, National Music Council
    1989: Kennedy Center Honors “for an extraordinary lifetime of contributions to American Culture through the performing arts”
    1987: National Medal of Arts
    1986: Chamber Music America Award
    1986: First Alfred I. DuPont Award
    1985: George Peabody Medal “for outstanding contribution to music in America,” Peabody Conservatory of Music
    1985: Gold Baton Award, American Symphony Orchestra League
    1985: Pulitzer Prize Special Citation “for more than half a century of contribution to American music as composer and educational leader”
    1982: Gold Medal, American Academy of Arts and Letters
    1981: First winner of the Columbia University William Schuman Award for “Lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance”
    1980: Horblit Award of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
    1975: Distinguished Alumni, Teachers College, Columbia University
    1971: Edward MacDowell Medal “for exceptional contributions to the arts”
    1968: Findley Award of the City University of New York
    1967: American Music Center Letter of Distinction
    1967: Certificate of Merit, Sigma Alpha Iota
    1967: Concert Artists Guild Award
    1967: Handel Medallion of the City of New York
    1965: Brandeis Medal for Distinguished Service to Higher Education
    1965: Composer’s Award, Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Symphony Orchestra
    1964: Gold Medal of Honor, National Arts Club, New York City
    1963: Citation of Merit, State University of New York at Buffalo
    1957: Columbia University Bicentennial Anniversary Award
    1957: First Brandeis University Creative Arts Award in Music
    1951: New York Music Critics Circle Award (for “Judith”)
    1943: First Pulitzer Prize given for music (for “A Free Song”)
    1943: National Institute of Arts and Letters award
    1942: Award of Merit, National Association of American Composers and Conductors
    1942: New York Music Critics Circle Award (for “Symphony No. 3”)
    1940: First Town Hall League of Composers Award (for “String Quartet No. 3”)
    1939-1941: Guggenheim Fellowships

  • A Song of Orpheus
    Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra or Chamber Orchestra
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    New England Triptych
    for Orchestra
    Symphony No. 8
    for Orchestra
    Symphony No. 9, “Le fosse ardéatine”
    for Orchestra