Dominick J. Argento PhD 58


Composer and librettist Dominick Argento is one of America’s leading composers and among the most frequently performed 20th century composers of opera. He has composed more than a dozen operas, including The Boor (1957), The Masque of Angels (1963), Postcard From Morocco (1970), The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe (1975), A Water Bird Talk (1981), Casanova’s Homecoming (1985), and The Aspen Papers (1988), which have been performed by the Dallas Opera (whose premiere performance was telecast nationally in PBS’ series Great Performances), the Washington Opera, the Minnesota Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Stockholm Royal Opera, and the Kassel Opera (Germany).

In addition to the operas, several of Argento’s song cycles are well on their way to becoming classics, especially From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1975. Argento’s symphonic works have been performed by many of America's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has also written frequently for choruses, most notably Te Deum, which was recorded for Virgin Classics and subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award.

Argento studied at the Peabody Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music under several distinguished teachers. A Fulbright Fellowship (1951) enabled him to study with Luigi Dallapiccola in Italy, where he later returned on Guggenheim Fellowships in 1958 and 1964. Among his many honors are the OPERA America Award for Achievement, Chorus America’s Founder's Award, the Peabody Medal, and several honorary doctorates.

Since 1958, Argento has taught at the University of Minnesota. He currently holds the position of Regents’ Professor of Music, the University’s highest honor. The composer is married to the Soprano Carolyn Bailey, who has introduced many of his compositions.

The Eastman School of Music honored Dominick Argento with its Alumni Achievement Award in 1979.

-From the Cantori New York Web site, 11/3/05