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David Diamond (composer)

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Title: David Diamond (composer)  
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Subject: New York Chamber Symphony, American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medals, List of music students by teacher: A to B, David Diamond, Nathan Currier
Collection: 1915 Births, 2005 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century Classical Composers, American Classical Composers, American Male Classical Composers, Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni, Deaths from Myocardial Infarction, Eastman School of Music Alumni, Guggenheim Fellows, Jewish American Classical Composers, Jewish Classical Composers, Lgbt Composers, Lgbt Musicians from the United States, Members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Musicians from New York, People from Brighton, Monroe County, New York, People from Rochester, New York, Pupils of Bernard Rogers, Pupils of Nadia Boulanger, Pupils of Roger Sessions, Rome Prize Winners, United States National Medal of Arts Recipients
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David Diamond (composer)

Diamond in 1987

David Leo Diamond (July 9, 1915 – June 13, 2005) was an American composer of classical music.


  • Life and career 1
  • Works 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

He was born in Rochester, New York and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music under Bernard Rogers, also receiving lessons from Roger Sessions[1] in New York City and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He won a number of awards including three Guggenheim Fellowships, and is considered one of the preeminent American composers of his generation. Many of his works are tonal or modestly modal. His early compositions are typically triadic, often with widely spaced harmonies, giving them a distinctly American tone, but some of his works are consciously French in style. His later style became more chromatic.

Diamond's most popular piece is Rounds (1944) for string orchestra. Among his other works are eleven symphonies (the last in 1993), concertos including three for violin, eleven string quartets, music for wind ensemble, other chamber music, piano pieces and vocal music.

He also composed the musical theme heard on the CBS Radio Network broadcast "Hear It Now" (1950–51) and its TV successor, "See It Now" (1951–58).[2]

Diamond was also named honorary composer-in-residence of the Seattle Symphony. He was a longtime member of the Juilliard School faculty, his notable students including Alan Belkin Robert Black, Kenneth Fuchs, Albert Glinsky, Daron Hagen, Adolphus Hailstork, Anthony Iannaccone, Christopher James, Philip Lasser, Lowell Liebermann, Alasdair MacLean, Charles Strouse, Francis Thorne, Kendall Durelle Briggs and Eric Whitacre. Diamond is also credited with advising Glenn Gould on his mid-career work, most notably his String Quartet, Op. 1.

In 1995, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[3]

Diamond was openly Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Walter Piston and Peter Mennin."[7] The New York Times also suggested that Diamond's career troubles may have also been caused by his "difficult personality... he said in the 1990 interview, "I was a highly emotional young man, very honest in my behavior, and I would say things in public that would cause a scene between me and, for instance, a conductor".

In 2005, Diamond died at his home in Brighton, Monroe County, New York from heart failure.


  • TOM (1936)
  • Symphony No. 1 (1940)
  • Symphony No. 2 (1942–1943)
  • Symphony No. 3 (1945)
  • Symphony No. 4 (1945)
  • Symphony No. 5 (1947–1964)
  • Symphony No. 6 (1951)
  • Symphony No. 7 (1957)
  • Symphony No. 8 (1958–1960)
  • Symphony No. 9 (1985)
  • Symphony No. 10 (1987/2000)[8]
  • Symphony No. 11 (1989–1991)
  • Concerto for Small Orchestra (1940)
  • Psalm (1936)
  • Elegy in Memory of Ravel (1937)
  • Rounds for String Orchestra (1944)
  • Concert Piece for large orchestra (1939)
  • Music for chamber orchestra
  • Overture
  • Heroic Piece
  • The Enormous Room (1948)
  • The World of Paul Klee
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 (1937)
  • Concerto for Small Orchestra (1940)
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 (1947)
  • Violin Concerto No. 3 (1976)
  • Flute Concerto (1986)
  • Piano Concerto
  • Piano Concertino
  • Cello Concerto
  • Kaddish for cello and orchestra (1987)
  • Romeo and Juliet
Wind ensemble
  • Tantivy (1988)
  • Hearts Music (1989)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1940)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1943–1944)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1946)
  • String Quartet No. 4 (1951)
  • String Quartet No. 5 (1960)
  • String Quartet No. 6 (1962)
  • String Quartet No. 7 (1963)
  • String Quartet No. 8 (1964)
  • String Quartet No. 9 (1965–1968)
  • String Quartet No. 10 (1966)
  • Concerto for String Quartet (1936)
  • String Trio (1937)
  • Quintet for Flute, Piano and String Trio (1937)
  • Quartet for Piano and String Trio (1936/67)
  • Partita for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano (1935)
  • Chaconne for Violin and Piano (1948)
  • Quintet for Clarinet, 2 Violas and 2 Cellos (1950)
  • Piano Trio (1951)
  • Wind Quintet (1958)
  • Night Music, for Accordion and String Quartet (1961)
  • Piano Quartet (1937 rev. 1967)
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 (1943-6)
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 (1981)
  • Canticle for Violin and Piano (1946)
  • Perpetual Motion for Violin and Piano (1946)
  • Chaconne for Violin and Piano (1948)
  • Sonata for Solo violin
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 (1987)
  • Sonata for Solo cello
  • Concert Piece for Horn and String Trio (1978)
  • Concert Piece for Flute and Harp (1989)
  • Concerto for Two Solo Pianos (1942)
  • Alto Saxophone Sonata
  • Nonet for Strings
  • Sonatina for Accordion
  • Piano Sonata No. 1 (1947)
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 (1971)
  • Piano Sonatina No. 1 (1935)
  • Piano Sonatina No. 2 (1987)
  • Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major
  • Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in C minor (1939)
  • Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in E minor
  • Prelude and Fugue No. 4 in C-sharp minor (1939)
  • Prelude, Fantasy and Fugue (1983)
  • A Myriologue (1935; rev. 1969)
  • Gambit (1967)
  • Tomb of Melville (1950)
  • 8 Piano Pieces
  • Album for the Young
  • David Mourns for Absalom (1946); text from II Samuel 18:33
  • Vocalises for soprano and viola (1935, revised 1956)
  • This Sacred Ground for solo baritone, choir, children's choir and orchestra (1962)
  • Prayer for Peace for choir
  • Many songs for solo voice with piano


  1. ^ Andrea Olmstead (6 August 2012). Roger Sessions: A Biography. Routledge. pp. 16–.  
  2. ^ "See It Now". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  3. ^ Lifetime Honors: National Medal of Arts at the Wayback Machine (archived January 6, 2013)
  4. ^ a b McFarland, John (2006). "Diamond, David",
  5. ^ Dyer, Richard (2005). Obituary, Boston Globe.
  6. ^ "Obituaries: David Diamond Composer". Gramophone. 2005. 
  7. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. David Diamond, 89, Intensely Lyrical Composer, Is Dead. New York Times. June 15, 2005
  8. ^ Manuscript copy of score record in Grawemeyer Collection Library Catalog. Also contains instrumentation and number of pages (398).

External links

  • Peermusic Classical: David Diamond Composer's Publisher and Bio
  • Discography
  • Boston Globe: David Diamond, 89; composed symphonies of intensity By Richard Dyer, Globe Staff, June 16, 2005
  • David Diamond at the Internet Movie Database
  • allmusicDavid Diamond at
  • The Official David Diamond Website created by The Estate of David L. Diamond
  • Interview with David Diamond by Bruce Duffie, October 18, 1990
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