Roger Sessions

  • Roger Sessions is one of the musical giants of the 20th century, a composer of profound emotion, uncompromising honesty, and consummate craftsmanship. His works have been performed by most of the world’s major musical organizations, and have earned him universal admiration and respect. In addition, he has made important contributions to American music as an educator, counting among his former pupils such eminent composers as Milton Babbitt, Andrew Imbrie, Leon Kirchner, David Diamond, and Hugo Weisgall.

    Born in Brooklyn in 1896, Sessions showed remarkable intellectual and musical precocity, entering Harvard at the age of 14. He later attended Yale, studying with Horatio Parker after a plan to study with Ravel was prevented by the War. He was most strongly influenced in his early years by Ernest Bloch, first as his student and later as his assistant at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He later was able to go to Europe, and lived and worked in Paris, Berlin and Florence during the years 1925 to 1933.

    His first big success was the 1928 The Black Maskers: Suite. His style subsequently evolved through the open intervals of the Symphony No. 1 to the more chromatic Violin Concerto of 1935. Later works in the 1950s used the 12-note technique, as exemplified by works such as the Symphony No. 3.

    Sessions was associated with a number of institutions, including the University of California, Princeton University, and the Juilliard School of Music. His honors include several Guggenheim Fellowships, a Carnegie Fellowship, a Prix de Rome, an honorary doctorate from Harvard, and membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the International Society for Contemporary Music, among many others. In addition to a special Pulitzer citation bestowed for his life’s work in 1974, Mr. Sessions was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his Concerto for Orchestra in 1982, which also turned out to be his final work.


  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    Solo
    ATF102 Classics, Romantics, Moderns
    Solos for the Intermediate Pianist
    Piano
    440-40008 Five Pieces for Piano
    Piano
    O4361 Masters Of Our Day, Volume I
    Piano
    140-40045 Waltz
    For Piano
    Piano Unaccompanied
    Orchestra
    15064 Concerto for Orchestra
    15:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    15068 Divertimento
    20:00 3 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14743 Rhapsody for Orchestra
    9:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    14754 Symphony No. 6
    18:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    14755 Symphony No. 7
    23:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    14757 Symphony No. 9
    25:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Orchestra w/ Soloist(s)
    15067 Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra
    20:00 Vln. Vcl. soli; 3 2 3 2 – 3 1 2 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    Vocal / Choral
    342-40118 Ah Sinful Nation
    342-40117 I. “Out Of The Depths”
    From Three Chorused On Biblical Texts, From Psalm 130, for SATB and Chamber Orchestra
    SATB
    342-40119 Praise Ye The Lord
    From Psalms 147, 148 and 150
    3:30 SATB
    14760 Three Choruses on Biblical Texts
    for SATB Chorus and Orchestra
    15:00 1 1 2 2 – 1 1 0 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
    14762 When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
    Cantata for Soprano, Contralto, Baritone, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
    45:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.

  • Copland, Sessions, Perle, Rands (The Vision of Francis Goelet) COPLAND, SESSIONS, PERLE, RANDS (THE VISION OF FRANCIS GOELET)
    New World Records (80631-2)
    Performer(s): American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein
    Work(s): Symphony No. 8
    New: Miranda Cuckson and Blair McMillen play music of Carter, Sessions, and Eckardt NEW: MIRANDA CUCKSON AND BLAIR MCMILLEN PLAY MUSIC OF CARTER, SESSIONS, AND ECKARDT
    Urlicht Audiovisual (UAV-5989)
    Performer(s):
    Work(s): Sonata for Solo Violin

  • 1982: Pulitzer Prize for Concerto for Orchestra
    1974: Pulitzer citation bestowed for life
    Guggenheim Fellowship
    Carnegie Fellowship
    Prix de Rome
    Membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters
    Membership in the International Society for Contemporary Music

  • Concerto for Orchestra
    Symphony No. 5
    for Orchestra

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