Morton Gould

Morton Gould was an American composer, conductor, arranger and pianist whose prolific career covered orchestral works, musicals, soundtracks, ballet and more. He worked steadily from the 1930s, when he was the resident pianist on a national American radio show, until his death in 1996 at a three-day celebration of his music at the Disney Institute in Florida. He composed for many organisations including the American Ballet Theatre, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Library of Congress and New York City Ballet and orchestras across America. He conducted major orchestras in America, Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan and recorded many albums which earned 12 Grammy Award nominations with one win for Best Orchestral Classical Performance for 'Charles Ives: Symphony No. 1 in D Minor' in 1966. He also won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and a Pulitzer Prize. For many years, he was president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), worked with the American Symphony Orchestra League and served on the music panels of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington. Born in New York, he was regarded as a child prodigy for his compositions and improvisation. He studied at New York's Institute of Musical Art and in the Depression era he played piano in cinemas and vaudeville halls. He became resident pianist when New York's Radio City Music Hall opened in 1932 and in 1935 he started conducting and arranging music for a radio show on the Mutual Broadcasting System. He wrote music for television including the 1964 documentary series 'World War One', TV movies including 'F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood' (1975), 'The Land of Hope' (1976), 'The Four of Us' (1977) and 'Holocaust: The Story of The Family Weiss' for which he received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Original Score for a Movie Or Television Show in 1978. He composed for Broadway shows including 'Come of Age' (1934), 'Billion Dollar Baby' (1946), 'Arms and the Girl' (1950) and 'Jerome Robbins Broadway' (1990). His major compositions include 'American Salute', 'Boogie Woogie Etude', 'Derivations for Clarinet and Band' (for Benny Goodman), 'Latin American Symphonette', 'Pavane' and 'Spirituals for Orchestra'. His 1996 release 'Jungle Drums' went to number 41 on Billboard's Jazz Albums Chart. Upon his death, former ASCAP president Marilyn Bergman said "America has lost one of its most distinguished composers and conductors and the creative community has lost one of its great leaders. His vigour, his wit and his spirit led us to believe he would live forever. And in fact, through his music and the legacy he left us, he will."

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Stations Featuring Morton Gould

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