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Howard Hanson

Biography

Born: October 28, 1896; Wahoo, NE   Died: February 26, 1981; Rochester, NY  
Howard Hanson was among the first twentieth century American composers to achieve widespread prominence. In contrast to the angular Stravinskian and Americana-influenced sounds that dominated American concert music prior to World War II, Hanson wrote in an unabashedly Romantic idiom influenced by his Nordic roots. Of particular importance to the composer was the music of Sibelius; however, he also acknowledged the influence of composers such as Read more Palestrina and Bach.

After boyhood studies on the piano, Hanson studied music at the Institute of Musical Art in New York City and Northwestern University, where he earned a degree in 1916. In 1921, he became the first American to win the Prix de Rome, which provided him the opportunity to study with Ottorino Respighi, whose colorful orchestral language was clearly an influence on Hanson's own. Upon his return to the United States, Hanson was appointed head of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester at the age of 28. Under the composer's guidance over the course of more than four decades, Eastman became one of the world's preeminent educational institutions. During his tenure there Hanson continued to compose prolifically; he also embarked on a career as a conductor, in which capacity he proved himself one of the great champions of American music. At Eastman, it has been calculated, he presented some 1,500 works by 700 composers. Hanson also commercially recorded a number of modern works in a series for the Mercury label in the 1950s, drawing much attention to otherwise neglected repertoire.

Hanson's most characteristic works are undoubtedly his seven symphonies. The first of these, the "Nordic" Symphony (1922), dates from the composer's studies in Rome. The Second Symphony ("Romantic"), remains Hanson's best-known work, a characteristic realization of the lush, lyric aesthetic with which he is closely associated. Further notable among Hanson's symphonies are the Symphony No. 4 (1943), awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and the Symphony No. 7 (1977), one of a series of works inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman. Other important works in Hanson's catalogue include The Lament for Beowulf (1925) for chorus and orchestra; the opera Merry Mount (1933), well received at its premiere and in subsequent productions, but now rarely performed; and a variety of other chamber, vocal, and orchestral works. Read less
Hanson: Symphonies 4 & 5, Elegy In Memory Of Serge  / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 12/13/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559703   Number of Discs: 1
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Hanson: Symphony No 1, The Lament For Beowulf / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 09/27/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559700   Number of Discs: 1
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Hanson: Symphony No  3, Merry Mount Suite / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 11/15/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559702   Number of Discs: 1
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American Classics - Hanson: Orchestral Works Vol 1
Release Date: 07/18/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559072   Number of Discs: 1
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American Classics - Hanson: Organ Concerto, Etc / Spalding
Release Date: 07/25/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559251   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 72 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Malcolm Smith Memorial Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 571354 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robin Holloway,  Howard Hanson,  Robert Matthew-Walker,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Lill,  Leslie Howard,  Mark Bebbington,  Julian Jacobson
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  • 2.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 3.
    40 Tracks for 40 Years - Delos Anniversary Set
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3440 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Antonín Dvorák,  Aram Khachaturian,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  James Earl Jones,  Charles Butler,  Marina Domashenko,  Dmitri Hvorostovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Zdenek Macal,  Constantine Orbelian,  James DePreist  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  New Jersey Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    American Anthem / Ying Quartet [CD & Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92166 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Howard Hanson,  Randall Thompson
    Performer:  Randall Scarlata,  Adam Neiman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ying String Quartet
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  • 5.
    Alla Marcia / Chevallard, United States Air Force Band Of The Golden Gate
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 70262 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson,  John Philip Sousa,  Jean Sibelius,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip C. Chevallard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band Of The Golden Gate
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  • 6.
    Essential American Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27851 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Louis M. Gottschalk,  Stephen Foster,  Edward MacDowell,  Scott Joplin  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario,  Salli Terri,  Molly Mason,  Thomas Hampson  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Leonard Slatkin,  Neil Richardson,  John McGlinn  ... 
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  • 7.
    Not Sousa Vol 4 / United States Military Bands
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 56042 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Paris Chambers,  Adolphe Sellenick,  Morton Gould,  Howard Hanson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band,  United States Marine Band,  United States Naval Academy Band  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Songs Of Democracy / United States Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 60282 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Larry Mactaggart,  Larry Grossman,  Lee Greenwood,  Woody Guthrie  ... 
    Performer:  David Farwig,  Richard Pearson,  Donna Abraira,  David L. Nokes  ... 
    Conductor:  Lowell E. Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band,  United States Air Force Singing Sergeants
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  • 9.
    Stravinsky, Hindemith, Hartmann, Hanson, Harris & Hovhaness / Stokowski
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2379 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Howard Hanson,  Roy Harris,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Hanson: Symphonies No  6 & 7 / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559704 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Chorus
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  • 11.
    Hanson: Symphonies 4 & 5, Elegy In Memory Of Serge  / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559703 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Hanson: Symphony No  3, Merry Mount Suite / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559702 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Hanson: Symphony No 2, Lux Aeterna, Mosaics / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559701 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Hanson: Symphony No 1, The Lament For Beowulf / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559700 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Debut
    Label: Dreambox Media   Catalog: 5637634580 Release Date: 06/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Reinhold Gliere,  Howard Hanson,  Frank Martin  ... 
    Performer:  Brian Gilmore,  Inna Gilmore
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  • 16.
    Mandorla - Choral Masterworks Of Frank Martin, Edvard Grieg & Howard Hanson
    Label: Gloriae Dei Cantores   Catalog: 48 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Edvard Grieg,  Howard Hanson
    Performer:  Wayne Schuman,  James Jordan
    Conductor:  Elizabeth C. Patterson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores
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  • 17.
    Mario Lanza - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 742204 Release Date: 06/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Sigmund Romberg  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza
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  • 18.
    Places Of The Spirit-the Holy Land: Music And Images Inspired By Israel
    Label: Pergola   Catalog: 610 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Howard Hanson,  Robert Lowry,  John Jacob Niles  ... 
    Performer:  Paula Robison
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  • 19.
    Label: Da Chiesa   Catalog: 5637212617 Release Date: 12/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Hay Malotte,  William Byrd,  Henry Purcell,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Deborah Thoreson,  Charley Snell
    CD: $26.99
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  • 20.
    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
    CD: $58.99
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  • 21.
    Thomson: The Plow That Broke The Plains; Hanson: Symphony No 2
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06612 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson,  Virgil Thomson
    Performer:  Ann Mason Stockton
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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  • 22.
    American Tapestry / Corporon, Lone Star Wind Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570968 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  John Philip Sousa,  Robert Russell Bennett,  Steven Bryant  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Shuster
    Conductor:  Eugene Migliaro Corporon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lone Star Wind Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Hanson: Merry Mount / Schwarz, Flanigan, Macneil, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8669012 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Performer:  Lauren Flanigan,  Richard Zeller,  Charles Austin,  Walter MacNeil
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Chorus,  Northwest Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 24.
    Sanctuary / Ouachita Wind Ensemble
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 7189 Release Date: 01/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson,  Martin Mailman,  William Schuman,  Vincent Persichetti  ... 
    Conductor:  Craig Hamilton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ouachita Wind Ensemble
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  • 25.
    Evolution / Lowell E. Graham, United States Air Force Band
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11161 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Peter Mennin,  Howard Hanson,  Václav Nelhybel  ... 
    Conductor:  Lowell Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  U.S. Air Force Band
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