Paul Creston

1906 - 1985

American

Summary

Paul Creston was born 10 October 1906 in New York of Italian parentage. Entirely self-taught with the exception of piano and organ lessons in his youth, Creston pursued studies in theory, composition, literature, and philosophy while working to support himself and his poor immigrant family. Fiercely independent by nature, the composer developed his style free of any particular school of thought or teacher's influence and made rhythm a cornerstone of his work, often emphasizing shifting subdivisions of regular meters. He created works in many genres including five symphonies, concertos for violin, piano, saxophone, and marimba, several dance works, songs, and choral, chamber, and instrumental pieces.

Creston considered his greatest "teachers" to be Bach, Scarlatti, Chopin, Debussy, and Ravel. He wrote in an accessible, conservative style that incorporated song and dance idioms and often featured unusual instruments like the trombone, marimba, or saxophone. Lush harmonies and expansive orchestrations characterize an often brash and spontaneous body of work, organized around a remarkable mastery of thematic development evident in works such as the Symphony No. 2 and Chant of 1942.

Creston was the recipient of many awards and honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the New York Music Critics' Circle Award for his Symphony No. 1. He is the author of Principles of Rhythm and Rational Metric Notation as well as numerous articles analyzing four centuries of rhythmic practice.

— 1999

Performances

19th April 2020

PERFORMERS
Colburn Youth Orchestra
LOCATION
St. James / Los Angeles, CA / United States

19th April 2020

SOLOISTS
Tess Vanek, Performing Second and Third Movements Only
PERFORMERS
Duquesne University Wind Symphony
CONDUCTOR
Robert Cameron
LOCATION
Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

19th April 2020

SOLOISTS
Roman Holder
PERFORMERS
University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble
CONDUCTOR
Cormac Cannon
LOCATION
Koger Center for the Arts, Columbia, SC, United States

21st April 2020

SOLOISTS
Noah Graben
PERFORMERS
University of Florida Symphonic Band
CONDUCTOR
Jay Watkins
LOCATION
University of Florida, University Auditorium, Gainesville, FL, United States

25th April 2020

SOLOISTS
Emily Gregg
PERFORMERS
PCC College/Community Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Henry Shin
LOCATION
Sexson Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, United States

Photos

Discography