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About the Composers

More information about these and other intermediate piano composers can be found in Jane Magrath’s The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performing Literature (1995, Alfred Publishing Company), Maurice Hinson’s Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire (1987, Indiana University Press), and The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (available both online and in printed format) (www.grovemusic.com).

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Adler, Samuel

(b. 1928)

Adler is an American composer who studied composition with Copland, Hindemith, and Walter Piston. He taught composition at North Texas State University, Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School. His works for the intermediate students include Gradus, Book I; Gradus, Book II; Gradus, Book III; The Sense of Touch; and The Road to Terpsichore. Adler's three volume Gradus series is a collection of graded pieces designed to introduce beginning students to contemporary sounds and techniques. The contemporary devices are explained in detail in the notes preceding the pieces. In his forward to Gradus, Adler writes: "the aim of these books is not to bring about the acceptance or rejection of any system, but rather to widen musical acquaintance and to stimulate the wish to consider more deeply a style, a notational system, or a musical philosophy."

 

Archer, Violet

(1913-2000)

A Canadian composer who studied with Bartok and Hindemith, Archer has taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of North Texas, McGill University, and the University of Alberta. She was interested in music education and wrote many piano works for children, including Three Scenes; 11 Short Pieces; Minute Music for Small Hands; and Rondo.

 

Bartók, Béla

(1881-1945)

Bartok was a Hungarian pianist, ethnomusicologist, and composer who closely studied and collected folk music, particularly Hungarian, Romanian, and Slovak folk music. Bartok was specifically concerned with children’s compositions, for he composed many graded, pedagogical works for children. His six volume Mikrokosmos is a collection of 153 pieces and is considered one of the most important didactic series written during the 20th century. Bartok wrote many pieces for the intermediate students, including Three Popular Hungarian Songs; 14 Bagatelles; 10 Easy Pieces; For Children (volumes 1 and 2); Sketches; Allegro Barbaro; Piano Method; First Term at the Piano; Sonatina; Rumanian Folk Dances; Three Hungarian Folk Tunes; Rumanian Christmas Carols; Nine Small Piano Pieces; Three Rondos on Folk Tunes; and Mikrokosmos (6 volumes).

 

Beard, Katherine

Katherine Beard was an independent piano teacher from Indiana. She studied at Julliard. Her compositions for the beginning and intermediate student often serve as excellent lead-in pieces to the more advanced repertoire. Some of her collection include Two-Part Inventions and Twelve times twelve: 12 short pieces in the 12-tone style.

 

Beaty, Dan

(b. 1937)

An American composer, Beaty has two collections of pieces written for the intermediate student: Woodsprite and Waterbug Collection and Seven Bagatelles. He teaches at Stephen F. Austin University.

 

Bernstein, Leonard

(1918-1990)

Bernstein was an American pianist, conductor, and composer who integrated into his works such musical idioms as American jazz and other contemporary devices such as12-tone techniques. His most important works for piano are his set of Anniversaries (Seven Anniversaries 1943, Four Anniversaries 1948, Five Anniversaries 1949-51, and 13 Anniversaries 1990). Each anniversary is a musical portrait that Bernstein wrote for a friend. His friends actually sat for the compositions as a person would sit for a painted portrait.

 

Bernstein, Seymour

(b. 1927)

Seymour Bernstein is an American pedagogical composer writing with many 20th century avant-garde compositional techniques such as clusters, tone rows, changing meter, playing inside the piano, etc. He studied at Mannes and The Juilliard School of music and has won many prizes and grants, including grants from the Beebe and Rockefeller Foundations. His pieces for the intermediate pianist include Birds, set I; Birds, set II; Insects, Book I; Insects, Book II; Raccoons, Book I; Raccoons, Book II; Belinda The Chipmunk; Köchel and Sheila; Trees; Warbles and Flutters; Out of the Nest; Early Birds; The Pedals; and Dragons. The Contemporary Idiom. His set of character pieces, Insects and Birds contain highly descriptive pieces, evoking images that the titles portray (Black Fly, Dying Moth, Humbug, Praying Mantis; Myna Bird; The Swan (with apologies to Saint-Saëns), The Robin, The Owl, Roadrunner, Condor, The Nightingale, The Guinea Hen, and Phoenix).

 

Bloch, Ernest

(1880-1959)

Bloch was a Swiss/American composer who taught at Mannes School of Music, was a founding director of the Cleveland Institute of Music (1920-1925), and was director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1925-1930). His main work for children is a set entitled Enfantines that was composed for his daughters in 1923. Other works for more the more advanced student are Ex-Voto; Poems of the Sea; and Five Sketches in Sepia.

 

Bober, Melody

Bober studied at the University of Illinois. She is a composer, clinician, and private piano instructor. Her music is published by FJH publishing company.

 

Bolcom, William

(b. 1938)

An American composer, Bolcom has studied with Milhaud and has taught at the University of Michigan since 1973. Bolcom has been an important figure in the revival of ragtime. Many of his compositions are written in the rag style (Seabiscuits Rag; Graceful Ghost Rag). Bolcom has one collection for children entitled Monsterpieces and Others. This set explores contemporary idioms and sounds, with such titles as The Mad Monster, The Sad Monster, The Bad Monster, etc.

 

Brubeck, Dave

(b. 1920)

Although mainly an American jazz composer, Brubeck studied composition with Milhaud. He wrote seven pieces for his son entitled Themes from Eurasia and an additional solo piece for the more advanced student, Reminiscences of the Cattle Country.

 

Burgess, Marjorie

An American composer, Burgess has had pieces commissioned by Clavier and the National Federation of Music Clubs. She has written many ragtime pieces for the intermediate student and her lyrical 7/8 Nocturne is dedicated to Ivan Tcherepnin.

 

Campbell, Carolyn Jones

Her 7 Preludes for Keyboard include sound suggestions (such as electronic jazz piano, guitar, etc.) for electronic keyboards. The seven preludes in this set are at the intermediate level; the titles for the pieces are: Chipmunk Play; Navajo Shepherd, Butterflies; Jogging; As Shadows Fall; Think Five; and Jazzy Waltz.

 

Caramia, Tony

Professor at Eastman School of Music, Tony Caramia has written several jazz and ragtime pieces for children. His two-volume set Adventures in Jazz Piano is an introduction to jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, and ragtime.

 

Chagy, John

John Chagy studied piano at Juilliard. He later taught piano in his independent studios in both New Jersey and Atlanta. Chagy has written many piano pieces for the intermediate student.

 

Cooper, Paul

(1926-1996)

An American composer who studied with Sessions and Boulanger, Cooper taught at the University of Michigan (1955-1968), the Cincinnati Conservatory (1968-1974), and Rice University (1974-1996). Cooper’s main compositions that can be used during the intermediate level of study are 12 pieces in the Cycles set. All are composed with 20th century techniques such as clusters, aleatoric writing, graphical notation, etc.

 

Copland, Aaron

(1900-1990)

An important figure in American music, Copland was a prolific composer who helped establish an American style of composition. He studied with Boulanger in Paris from 1921-1924. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his Appalachian Spring, the Kennedy Center Honor in 1979, and many other awards and honorary doctorates. Copland’s works that can be played by the intermediate and advanced students are: Down a Country Lane (this piece was commissioned by Life Magazine in 1962); The Young Pioneers (1935); Sunday Afternoon Music (1935); In Evening Air (1966); Midsummer Nocturne (1947); Midday Thoughts (1944); Proclamation (1973); Our Town (arranged from the film score by Copland himself); Sentimental Melody (1926); The Cat and the Mouse (1920); Three Moods (1920-1921); Four Piano Blues (1926); and Passacaglia (1921-1922).

 

Coulthard, Jean

(1908-2000)

Coulthard is a Canadian composer who studied with Vaughan Williams at the RCM in London. In the 1930s and 1940s, Coulthard studied with Copland, Milhaud, Schoenberg, and Bartok. Some compositions for the intermediate student include Pieces for the Present (written in an impressionistic style) and Four Piano Pieces. Some of Coulthard’s pieces can be found in the Celebration Series Repertoire Albums (published by The Frederick Harris Music Company).

 

Cowell, Henry

(1897-1965)

An American 20th century composer, Cowell is considered the first composer to use the technique of tone clusters in his music. He was the first composer asked to visit the USSR (1929). Although criticized for his non-traditional methods of playing the piano, Cowell was respected by Bartok and Schoenberg. Cowell promoted the cause of new music throughout his life, and his students include Cage, Lou Harrison and Gershwin. His easier compositions for piano are The Irishman Dances; Two Woofs (bitonal pieces); Amerind Suite (composed about American Indians); The Snows of Fuji-Yama; The Tides of Manaunaun, The Banshee (played with a ghost-like sound on the strings of a piano); and Aeolian Harp (strummed like a harp on the inside of the piano).

 

Dello Joio, Norman

(b. 1913)

An American Pulitzer Prize and Guggenheim Fellowship winner, Dello Joio has composed many pieces for children, including Suite for the Young (1964) (10 pieces in this set); Lyric Pieces for the Young (1971) (6 pieces); Diversions (5 pieces); Suite for Piano; Nocturne in E; Nocturne in F-sharp Minor (1946); Prelude: To a Young Musician (1943); Prelude: To a Young Dancer (1943); Short Intervallic Etudes (1988); and Salute to Scarlatti (1979). Dello Joio studied at the Juilliard School of Music and was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College (1945-1950), Mannes College (1956-1972), and Boston University (1972-1978). His compositional style stems from his influence from Italian Opera, Catholic Church music, and New York Jazz.

 

Duke, David

(b. 1950)

Duke is a Canadian composer who studied with Jean Coulthard and Violet Archer. He is currently academic coordinator at the music school at Vancouver Community College.

 

Finney, Ross Lee

(1906-1997)

Ross Lee Finney was an American composer and professor at Smith College and the University of Michigan. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Alban Berg, and Roger Sessions, Finney was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship in 1937 and 1947 and a Pulitzer fellowship in 1937. His piano works for children include Inventions, 25 Children’s Pieces (1956), 32 Piano Games (1968), 24 Inventions, Children’s Pieces (1970) and Youth’s Companion, 5 Short Pieces (1980). The 32 Piano Games were written to introduce children to contemporary notation, sonority, and articulation. Finney’s musical symbols (such as a solid black mark indicating to play a cluster of notes) are explained in the forward to the Peters Edition. The 32 pieces are progressively difficult, each introducing one or more 20th century compositional concept.

 

Frid, Grigori

(b. 1915)

A Russian composer who studied at the Moscow Conservatory, Frid was committed to writing music for children. In 1965 he organized the Moscow Music Club for Young People. Most of his works for children can be found in his Album of Children’s Pieces, Op. 25, Op. 39, and Op. 41.

 

Gillock, William

(1917-1993)

An American composer, Gillock was called “the Schubert of children’s composers.” The National Federation of Music Club honored him on many occasions. Gillock wrote his 24 Lyric Preludes in all keys, following the leads of Bach and Chopin. Each piece was “designed to exploit one or more pianistic problems…incidental to musical content” (Gillock, in his forward to the Lyric Preludes). Though written during the 20th century, Gillock composed these preludes in a romantic style. These preludes serve as excellent lead-in pieces to the more advanced romantic repertoire, especially the preludes of Chopin.

 

Ginastera, Alberto

(1916-1983)

Ginastera was an Argentinean composer who incorporated into his writing themes and rhythms from South America. He was a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and used that fellowship to study in the United States from 1945-1947. Although he did not write any pieces for beginning piano study, some of his pieces can be used for the later intermediate and advanced player. These pieces are 12 American Preludes (included in these preludes is a tribute to Copland and Villa-Lobos); Milonga; Rondo on Argentine Children’s Folk Tunes; and Malambo.

 

Goolkasian-Rahbee, Dianne (b. 1938)

Goolkasian-Rahbee is an American composer. Her pieces for beginning and intermediate study are Pictures, Op. 3 and Essays for the Piano, Op. 4.

 

Greene, Arthur

(b. 1945)

An American composer, Green’s set Seven Wild Mushrooms and a Waltz is a set of intermediate pieces written for prepared piano. Green provides a clear two-page instruction on how to prepare the piano (without damaging it) using pencil erasers and wood screws.

 

Gretchaninoff, Alexandre

(1864-1956)

Gretchaninoff was a Russian born composer who taught at the Moscow Conservatory, in Paris, and in the United States. He was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. Although writing in the 20th century, many of Gretchanioff’s compositions are written in the romantic style. Gretchanioff wrote many pieces for children, including Five Little Pieces, Op. 3; Children’s Album, Op. 98; A Child’s Day, Op. 109; Sonatine in G Major, Op. 110, No. 1; Sonatine in F Major, Op. 110, No. 2; Grandfather’s Book, Op. 119; Glass Beads, Op. 123; Dew Drops, Op. 127a; Album de Nina, Op. 141; Miniature Suite, Op. 145; 12 Little Sketches for Children, Op. 182; Gouaches, Op. 189; Five Miniatures for Piano, Op. 196; and Suite, Op. 202.

 

Harris, Roy

(1898-1979)

An American composer, Harris’s compositions suitable for the intermediate student include Little Suite; American Ballads (these are based on American folksongs); and Toccata. Harris studied with Arthur Farwell from 1924-1925 and with Nadia Boulanger from 1926-1929. He was a recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships and taught at many Universities, including Westminster Choir College, Juilliard, Cornell University, Colorado College, Peabody College for Teachers, Southern Illinois University and Indiana University.

 

Hopkins, Anthony

(b. 1921)

A British composer, lecturer and broadcaster, Hopkins was interested in music for children, conducting children’s concerts and writing operatic works for children, including Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Saint; and John the Magic Music Man. Hopkins also wrote two books of progressive piano pieces for children entitled For Talented Beginners, Books 1 and 2. His Sonatine is also suitable for the upper intermediate student.

 

Hovhaness, Alan

(1911-2000)

An American Composer of over 400 works (many of those for solo piano), Hovhaness was concerned about making his music easily playable, therefore making many of his pieces suitable for the intermediate pianist. Hovhaness commonly composed using modes, ranging from the traditional diatonic modes to more exotic Eastern influences such as ragas. Some of his works for the intermediate pianist include: Mystic Flute, Op. 22; 12 Armenian Folk Songs, Op. 43; Moonlight Night, Op. 52a; Pastoral No.1, Op. 111, No. 2; Macedonian Mountain Dance, Op. 144b; Bare November Day, Op. 210; Sketchbook of Mr. Purple Poverty, Op. 309; Lullaby; and Mountain Idylls. Although not written for the intermediate pianist, Visionary Landscapes, Op. 214 contains a single line piece played entirely inside the piano (strumming the strings). This piece is accessible to the intermediate student.

 

Kabalevsky, Dmitri

(1904-1987)

Kabalevsky was a Russian composer who studied at the Moscow Conservatory and was interested in writing teaching pieces for children. He was also active in developing music programs for children in the public schools. His many pieces for the intermediate student include Im Ferienlager, Op. 3/86; Four Preludes, Op. 5; Sonatina in A Minor, Op. 13 No. 1; Sonatina in G Minor, Op. 13, No. 2; Children’s Pieces, Op. 27; Jugendleben, Op. 14; 24 Preludes, Op. 38; 24 Pieces for Children, Op. 39; Variations, Op. 40; Five Sets of Variations on Folk Themes, Op. 51; Variations on Folk Themes, Op. 87; Four Rondos, Op. 60; Preludes and Fugues, Op. 61 (these are neo-baroque pieces); Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 88; Spring Games and Dances, Op. 81, Children’s Adventures, Op. 89, and Lyric Tunes, Op. 91.

 

Karp, David

David Karp is professor of Piano at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has written many pieces for the intermediate student, including Sonatina, and a collection of five solos in Jazz ‘n Such. Karp often writes in jazz styles and frequently uses modes in his compositions.

 

Khachaturian, Aram

(1903-1978)

Both a student and professor at the Moscow Conservatory, Khachaturian (an Armenain composer) wrote several sets of pieces for children. His Children’s Album is in 2 volumes. The pieces from volume 1 are often referred to as Adventures of Ivan, with descriptive titles of a fictional character, Ivan (Ivan Sings, Ivan is Sick, The Birthday, etc.). Other works for the intermediate student include Two Pieces (1926), Sonatina (1959), and Toccata (1932).

 

Krenek, Ernst

(1900-1991)

Krenek was an Austrian composer who wrote compositions not from an emotional standpoint but as an exact mental process. He immigrated to America during World War II. His works for the intermediate student include the 12 Short Piano Pieces, Op. 83 (1938) which are all 12-tone pieces written using the same tone row. Another piano work, Echoes from Austria, Op. 166 (1958) is a collection of seven tonal pieces.

 

Lebeda, Miroslav

Born in the Czech Republic, Lebeda is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music in Prague as well as the Prague Academy of Music. Lebeda emigrated to the United States in 1969. He continues to compose; many of his works are written for the intermediate piano student.

 

McLean, Gordon

(1907-1991)

 

 

Mier, Martha

Mier, who completed her music studies at Florida State University, is an active composer, pianist, and clinician. Her compositions have been featured in Clavier magazine. She has written many pieces for the beginning and intermediate pianist.

 

Milhaud, Darius

(1892-1974)

A French composer who immigrated to the United States during World War II, Milhaud taught at Mills College and the Aspen Music Festival. From 1947 until his death, he divided his time between Paris (teaching at the Conservatoire) and the US (teaching at Mills College). His works for children include Touches noirs, touches blanches, Op.222, (1941); Acceuil amical, Op.326, (1944-1948); Une journée, Op.269 (1946); Friendly Welcome; L’Enfant Aime; and L’Album de Madame Bovary

 

Mishell, Kathryn

A pianist, composer, and broadcaster, Mishell currently resides in Austin, Texas.

 

Mompou, Frederic

(1893-1987)

A Spanish composer, most of Mompou’s piano works are for the upper intermediate and advanced student. He is best known for writing miniatures reflecting Catalan folksong. Some pieces include Impressiones Intimas (impressionistic writing) (1911-1914); Pessebres (1914-1916); Scènes d’Enfants (1915-1918); Suburbis (1916-1917); Fêtes Lointaines (1920); Three Variations (1921); Preludes 5-10 (1930-1944); Paisajes (1957); Musica Callada, Books 1-4 (1959, 1962, 1966, 1974) (a good introduction to impressionistic writing); and Canciones y Danzas (1921-1971).

 

Olson, Lynn Freeman

(d.1987)

Olson, who was an active clinician and composer, studied at the University of Minnesota. He played an important role in the field of piano pedagogy, writing many pieces for the beginning and intermediate piano student and well as co-authoring 3 college texts for group piano teaching. He also co-authored Music Pathways, a series for beginning piano students.

 

Persichetti, Vincent

(1915-1987)

An American composer who taught at the Juilliard School of Music, Persichetti wrote tonal music with frequent use of modes and occasional use of polytonality. Persichetti’s easiest pieces are found in Little Piano Book, Op. 60, a collection of works that can be used to teach 20th century styles. Other pieces for children include Little Mirror Book, Op. 139 (written in symmetrical inversion); Parades, Op. 57; Four Arabesques, Op. 141; Serenade No. 2, Op. 2; Serenade No. 7, Op. 55; Variations for an Album, Op. 32; Sonatinas Volume 1, Nos. 1-3, Op. 38, 45, and 47; Sonatinas Volume 2, Nos. 4-6, Op. 63-65; Reflective Keyboard Studies, op. 138 (mirror writing); Poems for Piano, Volumes 1 and 2, Op. 4 and 5 (these pieces are written based on 20th century poetry); Poems for Piano, Volume 3, Op. 14 and Three Toccatinas, Op. 142 (neo-classical work).

 

Prokofiev, Serge

(1891-1953)

Prokofiev was a Russian composer who wrote didactic works for children, the most accessible being Music for Young People, Op. 65. This is a collection of 12 works of varying difficulty, mostly intended for the late intermediate pianist. These pieces were written in 1935, when music for children was highly regarded in the Soviet Union. Other pieces that can be studied at the intermediate and early advanced level include Sonatina Pastorale, Op. 59, No. 3 (a one movement piece); Tales from the Old Grandmother, Op. 31; Four Pieces, Op. 32; and 10 Pieces, Op. 12.

 

Rebikov, Vladimir

(1866-1920)

Rebikov was a Russian composer influenced by the impressionistic style of Debussy. Some of his compositional devices include parallel movement, whole tone scale, and quartal harmonies. His intermediate pieces are The Christmas Gifts (a collection of 14 pieces); Pictures for Children, Op. 37; Silhouettes, Op. 31; and Pieces for Piano.

 

Rocherolle, Eugenie

An American composer, Rocherolle studied at Tulane University and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. She has written over 60 collections of piano pieces. She is an active composer of intermediate piano music.

 

Rollin, Catherine

Catherine Rollin studied music at the University of Michigan (B.M.) and the Oakland University School of Performing Arts (M.M.). She is an active teacher, clinician and composer whom has had works commissioned by MTNA and Clavier magazine.

 

Rosco, B. J.

(b. 1932)

B.J. Rosco is an independent composer and teacher residing in the California area. Her compositions for the intermediate student are inventive and composed with many 20th century techniques. For example, her set Gallery of Sound Patterns includes the use of “modes, tone clusters, parallelism, triads, non-tertian harmony, exotic scale structures, special tone colors, [and] prepared piano…” (Rosco, introduction). Some pieces even call for added props, such as a blender sitting on the piano. Rosco provides a written page of performance notes before each piece, thereby making her pieces accessible even to teachers who have never taught such 20th century concepts.

 

Schuman, William

(1910-1992)

Schuman was an American composer who studied with Roy Harris. He was president of The Juilliard School from 1945-1962 and the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts from 1962-1969. He was one of the most honored American composers and recipient of such awards as the Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pulitzer Prizes, and a Kennedy Center Honor. His Three Piano Moods (1958) are suitable for the upper intermediate or early advanced student. Another set of pieces is Schuman's Three Score Set (1943), the second piece of this set is written in a bitonal chordal style.

 

Sheftel, Paul

An American composer, Paul Sheftel studied at Juilliard and is currently professor of pedagogy at the Juilliard School of Music. His set Interludes: Mood Studies for Piano is “built on uncomplicated patterns which can be mastered with considerable ease” (Sheftel, Introduction). This set of 18 pieces is accessible to the early intermediate student and includes both performance pieces and etude studies.

 

Shostakovich, Dmitri

(1906-1975)

Shostakovich was a Russian composer whose works define the political and social scene of the former Soviet Union. He was also an active pianist and played many of his own pieces throughout his life. His most notable work for children, Six Children’s Pieces, Op. 69 (1944-1945) is a set composed for his 8-year old daughter. Other pieces for the intermediate student include Puppet Dances (Dances of the Dolls) (1952-1962) (these are arranged from the Ballet Suites); Events of a Day; 25 Pieces for Piano; Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 51 (1922); Five Preludes (1920-1921); Aphorisms, Op. 13; and 24 Preludes, Op. 34 (1932-1933) (modeled after Chopin’s Preludes).

 

Starer, Robert

(1924-2001)

Starer was an Austrian born composer who immigrated to the United States and taught composition at the Juilliard School from 1949-1974 and at Brooklyn College CUNY from 1966-1991. Starer was a student of Aaron Copland. He wrote many pieces for the beginning and intermediate pianist, including 12 Pieces for Ten Fingers (1963); Games with Names, Notes and Numbers (1979); Seven Vignettes (1950); Four Seasonal Pieces (1985); Sketches in Color, Set One (1963) (each of these pieces is named after a different color); Sketches in Color, Set Two (1973); Three Israeli Sketches (1957); and At Home Alone (1980).

 

Stravinsky, Igor

(1882-1971)

Stravinsky was a Russian born composer who became a citizen of France and the United States later in his life. His compositions represented many styles of 20th century thought, including Nationalism, Neo-Classicism and Serialism. His one set of pieces written for the intermediate piano student in 1920, Les Cinq Doigts, is a collection of 8 pieces written using 5 notes. Stravinsky wrote that he “found it rather amusing, with these much restricted means, to try to awaken in the child a taste for melodic design in combination with a rudimentary accompaniment.”

 

Stravinsky, Soulima

(b. 1910)

Son of composer Igor Stravinsky, Soulima Stravinsky taught at the University of Illinois and composed many works for children. Some of his works for the intermediate pianist include: Piano Music for Children vols. 1 & 2; Three Fairy Tales; 15 Character Pieces for Piano; Six Sonatinas for Young Pianists; Piano Variations (First and Second Series); The Art of Scales; and Three 3-Part Inventions. The two-volume set Piano Music for Children is a series of 30 graded pieces (19 pieces in Vol. 1 and 11 pieces in Vol. 2). Many of these pieces are written within the 5 finger patterns and explore some twentieth century compositional techniques.

 

Takács, Jenö

(b. 1902)

Takács is a Hungarian born composer who studied music in Austria and taught in Egypt at the Cairo Conservatory, at the University of the Philippines in Manila, in Switzerland at the conservatories of Geneva and Lausanne, and in the United States at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He frequently wrote in many styles, including using folk melodies, and writing tonal, atonal, micro-tonal, and aleatoric music. His works that can be used at the intermediate level are the Little Sonata, Op. 51; Sounds and Colours, Op. 95; For Me, Op. 76; From Far Away Places, Op. 111; When the Frog Wandering Goes; Sonatine; and Toccata, Op. 54.

 

Tcherepnin, Alexander

(1899-1977)

A Russian composer, Tcherepnin came from a large family of composers. After the Russian revolution, the family moved to Paris in 1921 where Alexander began studying with Isidore Phillip. His 10 Bagatelles, Op.5 were written during this time, when Tcherepnin was only a teenager. Tcherepnin lived in China from 1934-1937, studying Chinese classical music. During that time, he wrote his Piano Method on the Pentatonic Scale. In 1948, he moved to Chicago to teach at DePaul University. He wrote many works for the intermediate student, including Bagatelles, Op. 5; Pieces Without Title, Op. 7; Canzona, Op. 28; Four Romances, Op. 31; The Story of the Little Theresa of the Infant Jesus, Op. 36b; Around the Russian Mountains; Chinese Bagatelles, Op. 51; For Young and Old, Op. 65; Expressions, Op. 81; Episodes; A Sunny Day; Trois Préludes en forme de Blues; Songs Without Words, Op. 82; 17 Easy Pieces in Contemporary Piano Literature; Quatre Nocturnes; Vingt Pièces Faciles; and Album D’Amis.

 

Thomson, Virgil

(1896-1989)

Thomson was an American composer. Most of his piano pieces are found in his collection of Portraits, which are musical portraits of his friends, akin to the Bernstein Anniversaries. Thomson composed over a hundred of these portraits. He studied at Harvard and in Paris with Boulanger and was highly influenced by the music of Satie. Thomson was also a music critic and won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for his film score to Louisiana Story.

 

Vandall, Robert

Originally from Ohio, Robert Vandall studied at the University of Illinois. His interest in group piano caused him to compose many pieces for the intermediate piano ensemble. He is well know for his intermediate compositions, which are based on his own experiences as a studio piano teacher.