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
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    Solo
    ATF102 Classics, Romantics, Moderns
    Solos for the Intermediate Pianist
    ATF102 Piano
    440-40008 Five Pieces for Piano 440-40008 Piano
    O4361 Masters Of Our Day, Volume I O4361 Piano
    140-40045 Waltz
    For Piano
    140-40045 Piano Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    15069 String Quartet in E Minor
    String Quartet No. 1
    15069 30:00 String Quartet
    14745 String Quartet No. 2 14745 18:00 String Quartet
    14746 String Quintet 14746 20:00 String Quintet
    Orchestra
    15063 Concertino
    for Chamber Orchestra
    15063 16:30::00 1(Picc./A.Fl.) 1(E.H.) 1(EbCl./B.Cl.) 1(Cbsn.) – 2 1 1 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
    15064 Concerto for Orchestra 15064 15:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    15068 Divertimento 15068 20:00 3 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14743 Rhapsody for Orchestra 14743 9:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    14748 Suite from “The Black Maskers”
    for Orchestra
    14748 22:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14749 Suite from the Opera “Montezuma” 14749 15:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp.
    14750 Symphony No. 1 14750 22:00 3 (Picc.) 3 (E.H.) 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14751 Symphony No. 3 14751 32:00 3 (Picc.) 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; 4Timp. Cel. Hp. Str.
    14752 Symphony No. 4 14752 24:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    14753 Symphony No. 5 14753 16:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    14754 Symphony No. 6 14754 18:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    14755 Symphony No. 7 14755 23:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    14756 Symphony No. 8 14756 14:00 3 (Alto) 3 4(EbCl.) 4 (Cbsn.) – 4 3 4 1; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    14757 Symphony No. 9 14757 25:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Orchestra w/ Soloist(s)
    15065 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra 15065 20:00 Solo Pno.; 3 3 3 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    15066 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra 15066 35:00 Solo Vln.; 3(Picc./A.Fl.) 2(E.H.) 4(Eb B.Cl. & Basset Horn) 3 – 4 2 2 0; Timp. Perc. Str. (No Violins)
    15067 Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra 15067 20:00 Vln. Vcl. soli; 3 2 3 2 – 3 1 2 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14741 Idyll of Theocritus
    for Soprano Soloist and Orchestra
    14741 42:00 Solo Sop.; 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
    14742 Psalm 140
    for Soprano Soloist and Orchestra
    14742 8:00 Solo Sop.; 3 3(Hecklephone) 3 3 – 4 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    14744 Romualdo’s Song from “The Black Maskers”
    for Soprano Soloist and Orchestra
    14744 4:00 Solo Sop.; 1 1 2 1 – 1 2 1 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
    Vocal / Choral
    342-40118 Ah Sinful Nation 342-40118
    342-40117 I. “Out Of The Depths”
    From Three Chorused On Biblical Texts, From Psalm 130, for SATB and Chamber Orchestra
    342-40117 SATB
    342-40119 Praise Ye The Lord
    From Psalms 147, 148 and 150
    342-40119 3:30 SATB
    14760 Three Choruses on Biblical Texts
    for SATB Chorus and Orchestra
    14760 15:00 1 1 2 2 – 1 1 0 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
    14761 Turn, O Libertad
    for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
    14761 4:00 3 3 4 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14762 When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
    Cantata for Soprano, Contralto, Baritone, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
    14762 45:00 3 3 4 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    Opera
    23561 Montezuma
    Opera in 3 Acts
    23561 3 3 4 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    23562 The Trial of Lucullus
    Opera in 1 Act
    23562 2 2 2 1 – 2 2 2 0; Pno. Perc. 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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