Discipline: Music Composition

Benjamin Swalin

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Carrboro, NC
MacDowell Fellowships: 1938, 1941, 1942, 1943
Benjamin Franklin Swalin (1901-1989) led the North Carolina Symphony for 33 years, from 1939 to 1972, revitalizing and expanding the project that Lamar Stringfield had started under the WPA. In 1945, Swalin's work resulted in the passage of North Carolina Senate Bill 248 (dubbed the "Horn Tootin' Bill"). This was the first time that an orchestra was recognized as a state agency in the United States. Swalin was a tireless promoter of classical music and the North Carolina Symphony. Under his direction, the Symphony maintained a rigorous travel schedule, playing throughout the state. In addition, the Symphony's innovative Children's Concert Division, begun in the 1940s, influenced and educated young people all over the state.



Benjamin Swalin worked in the MacDowell studio.

Built in 1912, Pine Studio was renamed MacDowell Studio in 1943 in recognition of support from a group of Edward MacDowell’s music students. It was built as a composers’ studio and the stuccoed walls were intended to be soundproof. Like many of the studios on property, MacDowell was winterized in the 1950s when the program began welcoming…

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