Howard Hanson


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

Work: Symphony no 2, "Romantic"

Browse 1-7 of 7 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    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: $181.49
    Back Order
    CD:  $181.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    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
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    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
    In Stock
    CD:  $58.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Hanson: Bold Island Suite, Etc / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80649 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Hanson: Symphonies, Piano Concerto, Etc / Hanson
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 4756867 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Performer:  Alfred Mouledous
    Conductor:  Howard Hanson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra,  Eastman Philharmonia,  Eastman School of Music Chorus
    On sale! $39.98
    ArkivCD $37.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $39.98   ArkivCD:  $37.99 Add to Cart

  • 6.
    Music Of Howard Hanson Vol 1 / Schwarz, Rosenberger, Et Al
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3705 Release Date: 03/03/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony,  Seattle Chorale  ... 
    CD: $17.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    Classical Music Around The World - America / Walter Proost
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 890 Release Date: 11/19/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Leonard Bernstein,  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Walter Proost
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Remo Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
    CD: $19.99
    Special Order
    On sale!   $22.98   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart