Walter Piston

Fellow: Awarded 1935

Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada

Born: 01-20-1894

Died: 11-12-1976

As published in the Foundation’s Report for 1935–36:

PISTON, WALTER HAMOR:  Appointed for creative work in musical composition; tenure, six months from April 1, 1935.

Born January 20, 1894, at Rockland, Maine.  Education:  Harvard University, A.B., 1924 (John Knowles Paine Fellowship, 1924–26); Massachusetts Normal Art School, 1914–16. Musical studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

Instructor in Music, 1926–32, Assistant Professor, 1932—, Harvard University.

Principal Compositions: Sonata for Pianoforte, performed by Marcel Ciampi, Paris, 1925; Three pieces for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon, first performed at the Société Independante, Paris, 1925; Symphonic Piece, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitsky conducting, 1927; Suite for Orchestra, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting, 1929, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting, 1932, by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Artur Rodzinski conducting, 1933, by the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Hans Lange conducting, 1934; Sonata for Flute and Piano, performed by Georges Laurent, Jesús María Sanromá, and others, 1931—; Suite for Oboe and Piano, performed by the Chardon Quartette, the New World Quartet, 1933, and by the Roth Quartet and Pro Arte Quartet, 1934; Concerto for Orchestra, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting, 1934; Prelude and Fugue for Orchestra, commissioned by the League of Composers, 1934; Second String Quartet, first performed by the Chardon Quartette, 1935.

Publications:  Music: Suite for Orchestra, 1929; Sonata for Flute and Piano, 1931; Suite for Oboe and Piano, 1932; String Quarter, 1933; Concerto for Orchestra, 1934. Book: Principles of Harmonic Analysis, 1933.

AWARDS WON

Pulitzer Prize, Music Composition, 1948, 1961