John Corigliano

Biography

Born: February 16, 1938; United States  
American composer John Corigliano (b. 1938) has summed up his artistic aims thus: "It has been fashionable of late for the artist to be misunderstood. I think it is the job of the composer to reach out to his audience with every means at his disposal.... Communication of his most important ideas should be the primary goal." Throughout the development of his career, Corigliano's "primary goal" of communication with the audience has remained ever Read more in his sight. In an atmosphere in which audience responses to new music so often range from indifferent to adversarial, Corigliano takes a place among the few "serious" contemporary composers whose appeal has ranged beyond the new-music crowd to reach listeners steeped in more traditional, time-tested fare.

The son of longtime New York Philharmonic concertmaster John Corigliano, Sr., Corigliano received his formal training at Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music; his teachers included Otto Luening, Vittorio Giannini, and Paul Creston. Corigliano's father, with his from-the-trenches perspective on the world of classical music, at first discouraged John Jr. from pursuing a career in composition, all too aware of the difficulties that faced contemporary composers. However, after a stint as a music programmer for radio, Corigliano attracted international attention for his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1963), awarded the top prize at the 1964 Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.

From that point, he continued to evolve a musical language in which architecture, color, and overt drama are paramount. While his works are steeped in a Romantic aesthetic that makes liberal, unembarrassed use of tonality, Corigliano's inclusive sensibility has led him to also employ extended instrumental techniques, microtones, and elements of minimalism and serialism (sometimes in a parodistic context); more recently he has incorporated live electronics into his music. The orchestra is clearly Corigliano's native medium and the ensemble for which he has written his most compelling works. He has demonstrated an especial interest in the concerto; in his concerti for piano (1968), oboe (1975), clarinet (1977), flute (1981), and guitar (1993), Corigliano both approaches the relationship between soloist and orchestra from a fresh perspective and makes notably creative use of the instrumental resources at hand. The Symphony No. 1 (1990), written in response to the AIDS crisis, is remarkable for its effective alchemy of intensely personal associations and musical potency; in 1991, it was awarded the Grawemeyer Award, the most lucrative prize in the world of contemporary classical music.

On an occasional basis since the 1980s, Corigliano has lent his abilities to producing film music of exceptional interest. His score for Ken Russell's Altered States (1980) was nominated for an Academy Award; nearly two decades later, he took home the Oscar for his score to François Girard's The Red Violin (1998). Though Corigliano's catalogue of chamber music remains relatively slender, works such as the Grammy-winning String Quartet (1995) and Chiaroscuro (1997) for two pianos suggest an increasing interest in writing for smaller forces.

The composer's affinity for the voice is at once evident in numerous vocal and choral works like the "memory play in the form of an oratorio" Dylan Thomas Trilogy (1999) and the song cycle Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (2000). His most ambitious work to date, the opera The Ghosts of Versailles (1991), has earned worldwide plaudits and, in a rare instance among contemporary operas, has enjoyed repeated productions since its premiere. Read less
The Red Violin - Corigliano, Kuusisto: Concertos / Vahala, Kuusisto, Lahti Symphony
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2020   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 108 John Corigliano recordings available.

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Works

John Corigliano


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra: Cadenzas
Elegy
Antiphonal Toccata
1. Sunrise and the Piper's Song
2. The Rats
3. Battle with the Rats
4. War Cadenza
5. The Piper's Victory
6. The Burghers' Chorale
7. The Children's March
I. Chaconne
II. Pianissimo Scherzo
III. Andante Flautando
IV. Accelerando Finale
I. Overture: Allegro con brio
II. Waltz: Allegretto
III. Adagio: Adagio [poco rubato]
IV. Tarantella: Allegro
Allegro
Andantino
Lento
Allegro
WORKS
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra: Cadenzas
Elegy
Antiphonal Toccata
1. Sunrise and the Piper's Song
2. The Rats
3. Battle with the Rats
4. War Cadenza
5. The Piper's Victory
6. The Burghers' Chorale
7. The Children's March
I. Chaconne
II. Pianissimo Scherzo
III. Andante Flautando
IV. Accelerando Finale
I. Overture: Allegro con brio
II. Waltz: Allegretto
III. Adagio: Adagio [poco rubato]
IV. Tarantella: Allegro
I. Prelude
II. Scherzo
III. Nocturne
IV. Fugue
V. Postlude
Allegro
Andantino
Lento
Allegro
Apologue: Of Rage and Remembrance
Tarantella
Chaconne: Giulio's Song
Epilogue
I. Prelude
II. Scherzo
III. Nocturne
IV. Fugue
V. Postlude
Anna's Theme
Main Title
Death of Anna
Birth of the Red Violin
The Red Violin
The Monastery
Kaspar's Audition; Journey To Vienna
Etudes; Death of Kaspar
The Gypsies; Journey Across Europe
Pope's Gypsy Cadenza
Coitus Musicalis; Victoria's Departure
Pope's Concert
Pope's Betrayal
Journey To China
People's Revolution; Death Of Chou Yuan
Morritz Discovers The Red Violin
Morritz's Theme
The Theft
End Titles
Main Title -
Anna's Theme -
Death of Anna -
Coitus Musicales -
Journey to China -
Shanghai -
Pope's Betrayal -
Victoria's Departure -
The Auction -
Gypsy Cadenza -
Anna's Theme


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