David Diamond

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Biography

Born: July 9, 1915; Rochester, NY   Died: June 13, 2005; Brighton, NY  
One of the twentieth century's most venerated musicians, American composer David Diamond was born in Rochester, New York in 1915. He showed exceptional musical promise as a young boy, and at age 12 began studies at the newly formed Cleveland Institute of Music, returning to Rochester in 1930 to take lessons from Bernard Rogers at the Eastman School. A year of work with Roger Sessions (partly through the Dalcroze Institute in New York) in 1935 was Read more followed by a two-year stay in Paris, during which time, in addition to formal studies with Nadia Boulanger, Diamond made the acquaintance of Stravinsky and Ravel (the latter having a particularly strong impact on the 21-year-old composer's musical outlook).

Recognition came early for Diamond, and by 1938 he had already been awarded the Juilliard Publication Award for his 1936 orchestral work Psalm and the first of three Guggenheim Fellowships. Major conductors took note of Diamond's colorful orchestral style and in 1941 his First Symphony was premiered by Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic, launching Diamond's 60-year reign as one the country's pre-eminent symphonists. A study of Diamond's 11 symphonies is, in effect, the study of a constantly evolving compositional ethic.

Beyond his musical abilities, Diamond was especially talented at securing study and composition grants that allowed him to spend extended periods in Europe, but he was always short of the money needed to return home. [Songwriter-turned-movie producer Arthur Freed, aware of this odd quirk in Diamond's professional history, used the composer as one-half of the inspiration for the character played by Oscar Levant in the 1951 feature An American In Paris (the other half inspired by Levant himself)]. Appointed Fulbright Professor at the University of Rome in 1951, Diamond remained in Italy (especially Florence, a city he came to love) until 1965, when he returned to the U.S. to take over as head of the composition department at the Manhattan School of Music. In addition to serving as vice-president of the National Institute of the Arts, Diamond was an active member of ASCAP. Diamond became professor of composition at The Juilliard School in 1973, where he taught well into the 1990s. In 1986, Diamond received the William Schuman Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1991 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Edward MacDowell Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Then, in 1995, he was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House.

Best known as a symphonist, Diamond emerged in the late 1930s as a basically diatonic composer with strong Romantic roots and a natural flair for effective structural drama. By the 1950s, however, an ever-increasing interest in chromaticism led to his adoption of some serial techniques, which he synthesized into a highly personalized musical language. Diamond's orchestral and chamber music, the backbone of his contribution to the repertory, displays a keen interest in counterpoint and a craftsmanlike command of melody that owes something to his abiding love of Ravel. During the last years of the twentieth century, the popular Adagio from the Symphony No.11 fueled something of a renewed public interest in Diamond and his music. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 46 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Celibidache - The Berlin Recordings 1945-1957
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21423 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Raoul Koczalski
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Bernstein: Arias And Barcarolles; Barber, Diamond / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559709 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Leonard Bernstein,  David Diamond
    Performer:  Dale Duesing,  Jane Bunnell
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    American Stringbook / Dogma Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Audiomax   Catalog: 9121717 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond,  Samuel Barber,  Arthur Foote,  William Schuman
    Conductor:  Matthew Gurewitsch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Do.gma Chamber Orchestra
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  • 4.
    The Legacy Of Nadia Boulanger / United States Army Field Band Soldiers' Chorus
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 61382 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adolphus Hailstork,  Daniel Pinkham,  David Diamond,  David Conte  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Dwyer,  Rose Ryon,  William Gabbard
    Conductor:  Daniel Toven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Army Field Band Soldiers' Chorus
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  • 5.
    Mad Dances - Larsen, Isaacs, Albright, Diamond, Del Tredici / Goble, Hirshfield
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1251 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Libby Larsen,  Kevin Jay Isaacs,  William Albright,  David Diamond  ... 
    Performer:  Dan Goble,  Russell Hirshfield
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  • 6.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 294 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Del Tredici,  David Diamond
    Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson,  Robert Helps,  David Del Tredici
    Conductor:  Charles Wuorinen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Composers String Quartet,  String Ensemble
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  • 7.
    American Music for Strings / Schwarz, Los Angeles CO
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79002 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Irving Fine,  David Diamond,  Elliott Carter,  Samuel Barber
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Cedille On The Move - High Energy Tracks From Chicago's Classical Record Label
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 8002 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  David Leisner,  Joseph White,  Sebastian Huydts  ... 
    Performer:  Cavatina Duo,  Joshua Rubin,  Rachel Barton Pine,  Sebastian Huydts  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Hege,  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pacifica String Quartet,  Cavatina Duo,  Encore Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Great American Composers - Copland, Harris, Hovhaness, Hanson, Diamond, Creston, Piston
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 6012 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Roy Harris,  Walter Piston,  Paul Creston,  David Diamond  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  James Earl Jones
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony
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  • 10.
    Bloch: From Jewish Life, Schelomo;  Bruch, Etc / Aasgaard, Schwarz, Et Al
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2149 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond,  Ernest Bloch,  Gerard Schwarz,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Jonathan Aasgaard
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Homage To Rostropovich - Walton, Et Al / Steven Honigberg
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 949 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Mieczyslaw Weinberg,  Robert Starer  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Honigberg
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  • 12.
    A Diamond Jubilee / Helene Williams, Leonard Lehrmann
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 817 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  Helene Williams,  Leonard Lehrman
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  • 13.
    Diamond: String Quartets, Etc / Potomac Quartet, Et Al
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 727 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  Carmelo Pino
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Potomac String Quartet
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  • 14.
    American Classics - Diamond: Symphonies No 2 & 4 / Schwartz
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559154 Release Date: 06/15/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Milken Archive - Diamond: Ahava, Music For Prayer
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559412 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond,  Morton Gould,  Roy Harris,  Douglas Moore
    Performer:  Theodore Bikel,  Margery Dodds,  Richard Troxell,  Karl Dent  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Timothy Koch,  Kenneth Davis,  Joseph Cullen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Carolina Chamber Chorale,  Texas Tech University Choir  ... 
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  • 16.
    Toccata Festiva / Depauw University Band
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 5438 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Morten Lauridsen,  Norman Dello Joio,  Augusta Read Thomas,  Eric Ewazen  ... 
    Conductor:  Craig Paré
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  DePauw University Band
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  • 17.
    Diamond: String Quartets No 1, 5 & 6 /Potomac String Quartet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 613 Release Date: 10/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  Steven Honigberg,  Sally McLain,  George Marsh,  Tsuna Sakamoto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Potomac String Quartet
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  • 18.
    American Works for Piano Duo / Georgia & Louise Mangos
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Fennimore,  David Diamond,  Vincent Persichetti,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Louise Mangos,  Georgia Mangos
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  • 19.
    American Classics - Diamond: Symphony No 1, Etc / Schwarz
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559157 Release Date: 06/17/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  Ikka Talvi
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    American Classics - Diamond: Symphony No 3, Etc / Schwartz  , Starker, Seattle So
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559155 Release Date: 04/15/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Diamond: String Quartets Vol 2 / Potomac String Quartet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 540 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  George Marsh,  Tsuna Sakamoto,  Sally McLain,  Steven Honigberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Potomac String Quartet
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  • 22.
    Great American Composers Collection - Hanson, Et Al/ Schwarz
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3708 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul Creston,  Walter Piston,  Howard Hanson,  David Diamond
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  Randall Ellis,  Susan Jolles,  Judith Mendenhall
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Chamber Symphony
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  • 23.
    Diamond: String Quartets Vol 1 / Potomac String Quartet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 504 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond
    Performer:  Jenny Oaks Baker,  Tsuna Sakamoto,  Steven Honigberg,  George Marsh  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Potomac String Quartet
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  • 24.
    Music For All Time - Diamond: Flute Concerto, Etc / Young
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 308 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernst Krenek,  Bernard Rogers,  Antal Doráti,  David Diamond
    Performer:  Alison Young
    Conductor:  Charles Anthony Johnson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Poems For Piano - Gould, Persichetti, Et Al / Mirian Conti
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 299 Release Date: 08/25/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincent Persichetti,  Ernest Bloch,  David Diamond,  Morton Gould
    Performer:  Mirian Conti
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David Diamond


WORKS
I. Allegro, molto vivace
II. Adagio
III. Allegro vigoroso