John Verrall

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

ACE Publications

76 title(s)
Composer Title SCORING/INSTRUMENTATION Year
John Verrall FOUR CHARACTERISTIC PIECES -
Flute, piano
John Verrall THREE FANTASY LEGENDS -
Horn, piano
John Verrall LYRIC SYMPHONY -
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, strings
John Verrall FANTASY VARIATIONS -
Violin, piano
John Verrall CHIEF JOSEPH LEGEND solo Baritone, choir, orch: 3-3-3-3, 4-4-4-1, timp, perc, str
-
John Verrall OLYMPIC SUNSET -
Flute (3), oboe (3), clarinet (3), bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
John Verrall THREE NOCTURNES -
Violin, cello, piano
John Verrall MEMORIES OF EARLIER DAYS -
Piano
John Verrall SONATA NO.2 for piano -
Piano
John Verrall THREE NEW PRELUDES FOR PIANO -
Piano
John Verrall SUMMERLAND FANTASY(A BUCOLIC PRELUDE FOR ORCHESTRA) -
Flute (3), oboe (2, english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
John Verrall SERENA -
Horn, piano
John Verrall SONATA FOR 2 PF -
2 pianos
John Verrall THEME & VARIATIONS Piano
-
John Verrall DUO SONATA pf-4 hands
-
John Verrall INVOCATION TO EOS -
Horn, piano
John Verrall SOJOURN OF THE SPIRIT -
Medium voice, piano
John Verrall RHAPSODY -
Solo horn, string orchestra
John Verrall SONGS OF NATURE -
Medium voice, piano
John Verrall RHAPSODY FOR SOLO HORN AND STRINGS solo hn,str orch
-
John Verrall COLONIAL HERITAGE high or low vc,pf
-
John Verrall EUSEBIUS REMEMBERED hn, pf (or tensax,pf)
-
John Verrall RADIANT BRIDGE -
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
John Verrall INTRODUCTION, VARIATIONS & ADAGIO -
Flute, oboe, piano, violin, cello
John Verrall PRELUDE, ARIETTA & FUGUE -
band:2/pic-1-0-4-Ebcl- alcl-bcl-4sax-1,2-4-3-euph-1,Timp,perc,cb

Additional Works