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John Corigliano
Born (1938-02-16) February 16, 1938 (age 76)
New York City, New York, United States
Genres Classical
Occupations Composer

John Corigliano (born 16 February 1938) is an American composer of classical music. He is a distinguished professor of music at Lehman College in the City University of New York.


Italian-American Corigliano was born in New York to a musical family. His father, John Corigliano Sr., was concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 23 years, and his mother, Rose Buzen, is an accomplished educator and pianist.[1] Corigliano attended P.S. 241 and Midwood High School in Brooklyn.[2] He studied composition at Columbia University (BA 1959)[3] and at the Manhattan School of Music. He is also a former student of Otto Luening,[1] Vittorio Giannini and Paul Creston. Before achieving success as composer, Corigliano worked as assistant to the producer on the Leonard Bernstein Young People's Concerts, and as a session producer for classical artists such as André Watts. From 1987-90 he was the first Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Most of Corigliano's work has been for symphony orchestra. He employs a wide variety of styles, sometimes even within the same work, but aims to make his work accessible to a relatively large audience. He has written symphonies, as well as works for string orchestra, and wind band. Additionally, Corigliano has written concerti for clarinet, flute, violin, oboe, and piano; film scores; various chamber and solo instrument works, and the opera, The Ghosts of Versailles, which enjoyed a success at the premiere.[4] His Clarinet Concerto is the first by an American composer to have entered the standard repertoire since that of Aaron Copland.[5]

The younger Corigliano first came to prominence in 1964 when, at the age of 26, his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1963) was the only winner of the chamber-music competition of the Spoleto Festival in Italy.[4] Support from Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation followed, as did important commissions. For the New York Philharmonic he composed his Vocalise (1999), Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (1977) and Fantasia on an Ostinato (1986); for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he wrote Poem in October (1970); for the New York State Council on the Arts he composed the Oboe Concerto (1975); for flutist James Galway he composed his Promenade Overture (1981), as well as the Symphony No. 2 (2001); the National Symphony Orchestra commissioned the evening-length A Dylan Thomas Trilogy (1960, rev. 1999). He also composed Chiaroscuro [Listen here], for two pianos tuned a quarter tone apart for The Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation.

In 1991 he was awarded the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his Symphony No. 1 (1991), which was inspired by the AIDS crisis.[6] In 2001 he received the Pulitzer Prize for his Symphony No. 2 (2001). Corigliano composed dramatic scores for the 1980 film Altered States, the 1985 film Revolution and Francois Girard's 1997 film The Red Violin. The award-winning score for Revolution is one of Corigliano's most impressive creations although it is less known, as it was never released in any recorded format;[7] it has existed in a bootleg form until Varese Sarabande officially released the score for a limited time in December 2009 through their CD club, which will be released in stores as a regular release later in 2010.[8] Corigliano did, however, export portions of the score for use in his first symphony. Portions of the score to The Red Violin were also used in his Violin Concerto (2003). In 1970 Corigliano teamed up with David Hess to create The Naked Carmen. In a recent communication with David Hess, Hess acknowledged that The Naked Carmen was originally conceived by Corigliano and himself as a way to update the most popular opera of our time referring to Bizet's Carmen. Mercury Records wanted the classical and popular divisions to work together and after a meeting with Joe Bott, Scott Mampe and Bob Reno it was decided to proceed with the project. In Hess's own words, the project was "a collective decision."

Among Corigliano's students are David S. Sampson, Eric Whitacre, Elliot Goldenthal, Edward Knight, Nico Muhly, Roger Bergs, Scott Glasgow, John Mackey, Michael Bacon, Avner Dorman, Mason Bates, Steven Bryant, Jefferson Friedman, Dinuk Wijeratne and David Ludwig. In 1996, The Corigliano Quartet was founded, taking his name in tribute. Corigliano lives with his husband, composer Mark Adamo, in New York City.[9]

In 2011, Corigliano's "One Sweet Morning" premiered at Avery Fisher Hall for the New York Philharmonic, a commission commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.[10] Stephanie Blythe performed the solo mezzo-soprano role.


See List of compositions by John Corigliano.

Notable works include:


Year Award Work
1991 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award [6] Symphony No. 1
1999 Academy Award for Original Music Score The Red Violin
2001 Pulitzer Prize for Music Symphony No. 2
2009 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan



  1. ^ a b "C250 Celebrates John Corigliano". Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Kozinn, Allan (March 26, 1999). "Decades in the Making, John Corigliano's 'Dylan Thomas' Gets Its Premiere". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  3. ^ McGinnis, Mara. "The Music of Communion". Columbia Magazine. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "About John Corigliano". Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Yvonne Frindle, "An American composer", ABC Radio 24 Hours, February 1997, p. 40
  6. ^ a b "1991 - John Corigliano". 23 April 1991. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "John Corigliano Awards" (PDF). The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  8. ^ http://www.varesesarabande.com/details.asp?pid=vsd%2D302%2D067%2D000%2D2[bare URL]
  9. ^ Scott Cantrell (10 July 2005). "On the Outside Looking In: Gay Composers Gave America Its Music". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  10. ^ Kozinn, Allan (23 September 2011). "John Corigliano's New Work Commemorates 9/11". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Corigliano — Please support Wikipedia.
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John Corigliano (b.1938): Symphony No 1 (Full)

Kevin Sedatole conducts John Corigliano's Circus Maximus (Michigans State University Wind Symphony)

Dr. Kevin Sedatole conducts Michigan State University Wind Symphony in performance of John Corigliano's "surround sound" masterpiece - Circus Maximus, Sympho...

John Corigliano - Clarinet Concerto

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Master Class with John Corigliano - Part 1

In this clip from www.artistshousemusic.org - John Corigliano is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential American composers of the last ha...

John Corigliano - Fantasia on an Ostinato

John Corigliano - Fantasia on an Ostinato.

Jade Simmons interviews John Corigliano for Composers Now

On Thursday, Feb.27th, 2014 Jade will perform all 3 of Corigliano's works for solo piano as a part of the Composers Now festival. For concert details, visit ...

Conversations with William M. Hoffman: John Corigliano, Pt. 1 of 4

Lehman College Distinguished Professor of Music John Corigliano is the Academy Award winning composer for "The Red Violin". In part one of this four-part int...

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Margarita Krein plays Red Violin Caprices by John Corigliano. Recorded live at the Great Hall of the Wharton Center at Michigan State University during "An E...

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John Corigliano continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual, and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last forty ...

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24 news items


Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:07:30 -0700

As per John Corigliano's score for 'The Red Violin,' here's Benedict Cumberbatch--star of the best 'Sherlock Holmes' since Robert Downey, Jr.--performing, ahem, 'Pizzicato Five.' (Photo : WikiLeaks Commons). The age of the jungle is coming. Not only ...

Stereophile Magazine

Stereophile Magazine
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:51:21 -0700

Then came the first movement of John Corigliano's Symphony No.1, the "AIDS Symphony," recorded live in Florida. During the recording session, McGrath had met the composer's former partner when he was in the final stages of the disease, and explained ...
The Tennessean
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:33:45 -0700

That Mozart piece will be accompanied by "Voyage" by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano and Louise Farrenc's third symphony. The Farrenc piece is special because whereas most of the Romantic-era canon was written by German or Austrian ...
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:56:24 -0700

Also on the program was Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra from “The Red Violin” by John Corigliano, played on a red Stradivarius originally owned by Felix Mendelssohn's family and now the proud possession of violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn, who has played ...

Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 02:00:00 -0700

15, playing the music of Mozart, contemporary American composer John Corigliano and 19th century French composer Louis Farrenc at Downtown Presbyterian Church. The season continues at Downtown Presbyterian on Oct. 27 and April 20. On Feb.
San Francisco Classical Voice
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:53:59 -0700

With special interest in contemporary music, she worked extensively with such composers as Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Jake Heggie, David Garner, and Gordon Getty. Pankonin died on July 20, at the age of 54. She received her master's degree in piano ...
The Banner-Graphic
Sun, 03 Aug 2014 18:18:45 -0700

While at Texas, she studied pedagogy with Martha Hilley and Amanda Vick Lethco and performed with the New Music Ensemble, working with visiting composers such as John Corigliano, William Kraft and Joan Tower. Since moving to Indianapolis in 1998, ...
Crown City News
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:56:15 -0700

“Before the music was even published, Maestro Victor Vener, with incredible vision and foresight, invited me to perform Academy Award winning composer John Corigliano's The Red Violin: Chaconne For Violin And Orchestra with him in the year 2000.

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