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Ned Rorem

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Composer

The Resume

    (October 22, 1923-November 18, 2022)
    Born in Richmond, Indiana
    Best known for his art songs, including song cycles based on poems by Robert Herrick, Walt Whitman, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, John Ashberry, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    Composed five symphonies
    Composed the operas 'Miss Julie' (1965) and 'Our Town' (2005)
    President of the Academy of Arts and Letters (2000-03)

Why he might be annoying:

    A review of his published diaries noted that his name dropping 'could reach the level of carpet bombing.'
    He outed closeted musicians and composers.
    After he titled a volume of his memoirs 'Knowing When to Stop' (1994), a reviewer quipped, 'The problem with Ned is that he doesn't.'
    In the too much information' department, he shared with readers the physical details of his herpes outbreaks.
    He complained that American society was becoming 'one big mediocre family, eating at McDonald's and listening to Sting.

Why he might not be annoying:

    The Washington Post described him as 'movie star handsome and gifted with enormous personal charisma.'
    During a weekend in 1942, he met the three leading figures in American classical music -- 27487>Virgil Thomson, <3463>Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein -- beginning lifelong friendships with all three.
    Conductor Robert Shaw called him the greatest art song composer of his era.
    He won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for 'Air Music: Ten Etudes for Orchestra' (1976) and noted, 'I sort of gives you a certain authority.... So if I die in a whorehouse, at least the obit will say 'Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer Ned Rorem Dires in Whorehouse.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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Year In Review:

    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 79 Votes: 44.30% Annoying