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Charles Ives

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Charles Edward Ives was an American composer of classical music born on October 20, 1874 and who died on May 19, 1954. Ives is broadly regarded as one of the first classical composers from the United States that has been internationally successful. His work, as it happens with many popular artists, was mostly ignored while he was still alive, and a large part of his works were not performed for many years. With time, Charles Ives became one of the “American Originals”. He worked in a unique American style integrating American folk tunes into his music, reaching a sense of the potential in music.

Charles Ives was born in Danbury, Connecticut, to Mollie and her husband George Ives, a United States Army bandleader in the American Civil War. Much of his formation as a musician came from his father’s marching band performances and his father’s teachings. When Charles was 14 years old, he became a church organist and composed several hymns and pieces for church services, such as his “Variations on America”. In 1893, Ives graduated from the Hopkins School and moved to New Haven. One year later, he entered Yale University and studied under Horatio Parker. His pieces “Yale-Princeton Football Game” and “Calcium Light Night” show the influence that college had on Ives. As his senior, Ives wrote “Symphony No. 1” under the supervision of Parker.

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