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Joan La Barbara

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  • Born: New York, NY
  • Died: Buffalo, NY
  • Years Active: 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Studied piano with Madame Maurina-Press, comp. with Wallingford Riegger, Stefan Wolpe. Was Edgard Varése Professor at State University of New York at Buffalo. Began graphic works, with open pitch and rhythm, and music "free from a compositional rhetoric" in early '50s, eg. Structures for string quartet (1951). Music with pitches given but with freedom of rhythm, eg. The Swallows of Salagan (1960). Later, fully notated works, mostly quiet (in order to perceive timbre and overtone material) with non-dramatic gestures, eg. Piano and Orchestra (1975). Last works of long durations up to six-hour String Quartet No. 2 (1983).