Discipline: Music Composition

Joseph Wood

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Auburn, AL
MacDowell Fellowships: 1953, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1965, 1975, 1980
Joseph Wood (1915–2000) was an American composer and music educator. He wrote numerous chamber music pieces including a piano trio in 1937 and a viola sonata in 1938. He also wrote four string quartets between 1942-1978. Throughout his life he wrote a considerable number of choral pieces which are still being programmed, including a Te Deum written on the occasion of Oberlin's sesquicentennial for the Oberlin College Choir and Robert Fountain. He also wrote four symphonies, one each in 1939, 1952, 1956, and 1981. After the premiere of his third symphony in 1957, the critic of the New York Herald Tribune wrote that the work "was a thoroughly distinguished and handsome creation with such an internal and external appeal that it would be no exaggeration to place it in the very top rank of American symphonies." His Symphony No. 4 was premiered on May 8, 1981, by the Oberlin Orchestra, Robert Baustian, conducting. The NBC Symphony Orchestra premiered his Overture to Twelfth Night on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Arguably, his most important piece was a large ballet-cantata commissioned by the Draco Foundation and written to a scenario by Evelyn Eaton entitled The Progression



Joseph Wood worked in the Watson studio.

Built in 1916 in memory of Regina Watson of Chicago, a musician and teacher, this studio was donated by a group of her friends, along with funds for its maintenance. Originally designed to serve as a composers’ studio with room for performance, Watson was used as a recital hall for chamber music for a…

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