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Famous Like Me > Composer > B > William Bolcom

Profile of William Bolcom on Famous Like Me

Name: William Bolcom  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 26th May 1938
Place of Birth: Seattle, Washington, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

William Elden Bolcom (born May 26, 1938) is an American composer of chamber, operatic, and symphonic music.

Bolcom was born in Seattle, He entered the University of Washington at age 11, where he studied piano and composition. He later studied with Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen.

His opera, A View from the Bridge, with libretto by Arthur Miller and Arnold Weinstein, was premiered October 9, 1999, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago,

As a pianist, Bolcom has performed and recorded his own work frequently in collaboration with his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Bolcom and Morris have recorded twenty albums together, beginning with After the Ball, a collection of popular songs from around the turn of the 20th century. Their primary specialties in both concerts and recordings are showtunes and popular songs from the early 20th century, and cabaret songs (often from failed musicals).

Bolcom's setting of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, a full evening's work for soloists, choruses, and orchestra culminated 25 years of work on the piece. Its premiere at the Stuttgart Opera in 1984 was followed by performances in Ann Arbor, Chicago's Grant Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, St. Louis, Carnegie Hall, and London's Royal Festival Hall, the latter performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. Bolcom's other works include a number of piano rags, some written in collaboration with William Albright (the composer, not the evangelical Methodist archaelogist, biblical authority, linguist and expert on ceramics), and a number of cabaret songs written for his wife (including the unforgettable "Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise").

Bolcom won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano.


  • 1999: A View from the Bridge
  • 2004: A Wedding

External link

  • William Bolcom and Joan Morris's website

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article William Bolcom