Discipline: Music Composition

Robert Ward

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Durham, NC
MacDowell Fellowships: 1938
Robert Eugene Ward (1917 –2013) was an American composer whose best-known work was Crucible, an operatic setting of Arthur Miller’s play. The opera won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize. Ward attended the Eastman School of Music where his composition teachers were Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, and Edward Royce. He then received a fellowship and attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York from 1939 to 1942, where he studied composition with Frederick Jacobi, orchestration with Bernard Wagenaar, and conducting with Albert Stoessel and Edgar Schenkman. In the summer of 1941 he studied under Aaron Copland at the Berkshire Music Center in Massachusetts. In 1942 he joined the Army and became a band director and was sent to the Pacific. During his military service Ward managed to compose two orchestral compositions, Adagio and Allegro, first performed in New York in 1944, and Jubilation: An Overture, which was written mostly on Okinawa and was premiered at Carnegie Hall by the National Orchestral Association in 1946. Ward wrote his Second Symphony, dedicated to his wife, and it was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hans Kindler. This symphony was quite popular for a few years, in part thanks to Eugene Ormandy playing it with the Philadelphia Orchestra several times and even taking it on tour to Carnegie Hall in New York and Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. In 1967, Ward became President and later Chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. He held this post until 1975, when he stepped down to serve as a member of the composition faculty for five more years. In 1978 he went to Duke University as a visiting professor, and there he remained as Mary Duke Biddle Professor of Music from 1979 to 1987.



Robert Ward worked in the Chapman studio.

Chapman Studio was funded by Mrs. Alice Woodrough Chapman in memory of her husband, composer George Alexander Chapman. Symmetrically massed, the building is stuccoed on the exterior with a natural, unpainted cement. Its unusual half-timbered ornament consists of slender, knotty spruce poles painted a dark green color. A central, peak-roofed entrance porch appears on the north side…

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