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William Bolcom

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William Elden Bolcom (born on May 26, 1938) is a composer of symphonic, chamber, and operatic music. He was born in Seattle, Washington, and when he was eleven years old, Bolcom entered the University of Washington and studied piano with Madame Berthe Poncy Jacobson and composition with John Verall and George Frederick McKay. Later, Bolcom studied at Mills College with Darius Milhaud while working on his Master of Arts degree at Stanford University with Leland Smith.

At the University of Michigan, Bolcom was named the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition in 1994. In 1988, he won the music Pulitzer Prize for his 12 New Etudes for Piano (composed in 1977), and Bolcom has won 3 Grammy Awards, all in 2006 for his setting of William’s Blake’s “Songs of Experience” and “Songs of Innocence”, both written in 1984. Currently, Bolcom is married to mezzo-soprano Joan Morris.

Other works by William Bolcom include the operas “A View from the Bridge”, with libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Arthur Miller, and “A Wedding”, with libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Robert Altman. Bolcom has also composed several piano rags, some with collaboration of William Albright.

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