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.

ā€” 1999

Performances

25th February 2024

SOLOISTS
Quinn Wilson
PERFORMERS
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Nobuyoshi Yasuda
NOTES
Performing movement I only.
LOCATION
Gantner Hall, Eau Claire, WI, United States of America

29th February 2024

SOLOISTS
Cole Johnson
PERFORMERS
Liberty University Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Dr. Zachary Bruno
LOCATION
Liberty University School of Music, Lynchburg, VA, United States of America

3rd March 2024

PERFORMERS
Kent State University Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Jacob Schnitzer
NOTES
Performing movement I only.
LOCATION
Cartwright Hall, Kent, OH, United States of America

3rd March 2024

SOLOISTS
Sam Christian
PERFORMERS
Overland Park Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Raphaele Cipriano
LOCATION
Atonement Lutheran Church, Overland Park, KS, United States of America

17th March 2024

SOLOISTS
Student
PERFORMERS
Santa Monica College Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Mercedes Juan
LOCATION
Broad Stage Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA, United States of America

Photos

Discography