John Verrall

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Biography: 

John Weedon Verrall (b. 1908 - d. 2001) was an American composer of contemporary classical music.

Prior to his University studies, Verrall studied composition with Donald Ferguson, followed by studies with R. O. Morris in London and Zoltán Kodály in Budapest. He obtained a B.M. degree from the Minneapolis School of Music in 1929, and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1934. In the early 1930s he spent several summers at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he studied composition with Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, and Frederick Jacobi. He taught at Hamline University from 1934–1942 and Mount Holyoke College from 1942–1946, during which time he briefly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. While teaching at Mount Holyoke College, Verall also worked as a music editor for G. Schirmer. In 1946 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.[1] In 1948 he joined the music faculty at the University of Washington, where he taught composition and music theory until he retired as professor emeritus in 1973. Several of Verrall's students have gone on to have successful careers, including William Bolcom, Alan Stout, and Gloria Wilson Swisher.

From the late 1940s, Verrall used as the tonal basis for his music a nine-pitch scale consisting of two tetrachords on either side of a central pitch, itself alterable (C–D–E–E, F or F, G–A–B–B). This collection lends itself to symmetrical harmonic formations and melodic contours which, with equivalent rhythmic and metrical formations, generate the global and local pitch and rhythmic relations in his music.

Verrall wrote numerous symphonic works and chamber music pieces including four symphonies, seven string quartets, a violin concerto, and a viola concerto, among many other works. He also wrote several vocal art songs, choral works, and three operas.

Composer's photo above: John Verrall at the piano, undated. Photo: James A. Young. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW23557z

ACA List for John Verrall

APPALACHIAN FOLK SONG (1953)
vcl,pf
BRIEF ELEGY (1970)
cl
THE CHIEF JOSEPH LEGEND (1989)
solo Baritone, choir, orch: 3-3-3-3, 4-4-4-1, timp, perc, str
CHILDREN, THE (1945)
1.1.1.1, 2.2.3.0, pf, strings
COLONIAL HERITAGE (1978)
high or low vc,pf
CONCERTO FOR PIANO & ORCH (1960)
pf,orch:2-2-2-2,2hns,timp,str
CONCERTO FOR VIOLA & ORCHESTRA (1969)
vla, orch:2-1-2-1, 1-1-0-0,timp,str
CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN & ORCH (1946)
vln,orch:2-2-2-2, 2-2-0-1,timp,str
COWHERD & THE SKYMAIDEN, THE (1951)
opera for sop,alt,ten, bar,bbar,chorus,orch:1-1-1-1,1-2-0-0,perc,pf,str
DARK NIGHT OF SAINT JOHN
cham orch:2-1-2-1,2-1-0-0,str
DIVERTIMENTO
cl,bsn,hn
DUO SONATA (1983)
pf-4 hands
EUSEBIUS REMEMBERED (1976)
hn, pf (or tensax,pf)
FANTASY VARIATIONS (1989)
Violin, piano
FOUR CHARACTERISTIC PIECES (1992)
Flute, piano
INTRODUCTION AND RONDINO (1956)
3 clarinets
INTRODUCTION, VARIATIONS & ADAGIO (1974)
Flute, oboe, piano, violin, cello
INVOCATION TO EOS (1983)
Horn, piano
LYRIC SYMPHONY (1990)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, strings
NONETTE (1970)
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, viola (2), cello
OLYMPIC SUNSET (1988)
Flute (3), oboe (3), clarinet (3), bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
PASSACAGLIA FOR CONCERT BAND (1964)
band:pic-1-1-3-Acl-Ebcl- bcl-alcl-3sax(a,t,bar)-2,2-3-3-2euph-timp,2perc,cb
A PASTORAL ELEGY
Solo oboe, hand: flute, clarinet (3), bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone (3), tuba
PASTORALE (1960)
Flute (2), viola (2), cello (3)
PORTRAIT OF ST CHRISTOPHER (1956)
Flute (3)/piccolo, oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings (2-1-1-1)
PRELUDE (1966)
Piano
PRELUDE & ALLEGRO (1948)
String orchestra
PRELUDE & FUGHETTA (1966)
Carillon
PRELUDE FOR ORCHESTRA(In Praise of Peace) (1962)
Flute (2), oboe (2), clarinet (2), bassoon (2), horn (2), trumpet (4), timpani/percussion, strings
PRELUDE, ARIETTA & FUGUE (1972)
band:2/pic-1-0-4-Ebcl- alcl-bcl-4sax-1,2-4-3-euph-1,Timp,perc,cb
PRELUDE, INTERMEZZO & FUGUE (1964)
2 pianos
PRELUDES EN SUITE (1961)
Piano
QUINTET FOR PIANO & STRINGS (1953)
Piano, string quartet
RADIANT BRIDGE (1975)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
RHAPSODY (1979)
Solo horn, string orchestra
RHAPSODY FOR SOLO HORN AND STRINGS (1979)
solo hn,str orch
ROSE OF THE WORLD, THE (1966)
Soprano solo, flute, piano
SERENA (1984)
Horn, piano
SERENADE & PASTORALE (1956)
Flute (or oboe), organ
SIX VARIATIONS ON AN ORIGINAL THEME (1945)
Flute (2), oboe (2), clarinet (2), bassoon (2), horn (4), trumpet (2), trombone (4), strings
A SOJOURN OF THE SPIRIT (1981)
Medium voice, piano
SONATA FOR 2 PF (1984)
2 pianos
SONATA for oboe and piano (1956)
Oboe (or violin), piano
SONATA for violin and piano (1963)
Violin, piano
SONATA NO.1 for viola and piano (1942)
Viola, piano
SONATA NO.2 for piano (1986)
Piano
SONATINA for 'cello and piano (1957)
Cello, piano
SONATINA for viola and piano (1961)
Viola, piano
SONATINA for violin and piano (1949)
Violin, piano
A SONG OF REJOICING (1966)
Children's voices, bells
SONGS OF NATURE (1979)
Medium voice, piano
STRING QUARTET NO.5 (1952)
String quartet
STRING QUARTET NO.7 (1961)
String quartet
SUITE for brass sextet (1956)
Brass sextet: horn, trumpet (2), trombone, euphonium, tuba
SUITE for three clarinets (1957)
3 clarinets
SUITE for two pianos (1966)
2 pianos
SUITE NO.1 for orchestra (1959)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english hon, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion (2), harp, strings
SUMMERLAND FANTASY(A BUCOLIC PRELUDE FOR ORCHESTRA) (1985)
Flute (3), oboe (2, english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
SYMPHONY FOR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (1967)
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, strings
SYMPHONY No. 2 in E (1943)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
THEME & VARIATIONS (1945)
Piano
THREE FANTASY LEGENDS (1990)
Horn, piano
THREE NOCTURNES (1987)
Violin, cello, piano
WEDDING KNELL, THE (1952)
Soprano, alto, baritone, bass soli, piano
WEDDING KNELL, THE (1952)
Soprano, alto, baritone, bass soli; flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, percussion, harmonium&harpsichord (optional), viola, cello
A WINTER'S TALE (1947)
Flute (2), oboe (2), clarinet (2), bassoon (2), horn (4), trumpet (2), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, strings

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