Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento is to endow a professorship to the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music in the US state of New York. The position, worth $1.5m, will be named the Dominick J Argento Professor in honour of the composer, who received his PhD from the School.
‘In addition to providing me with an extraordinary musical education, Eastman changed my life in much more significant ways,’ said Argento. ‘More than just imparting to me particular compositional techniques, what I acquired from the School was a sense of confidence, instilled by Howard Hanson, Bernard Rogers and Alan Hovhaness. I was made a teaching fellow, and even that was character-building work. Eastman changed my life.’
A celebrated composer of lyric opera, Argento’s works include The Boor (1957), Postcard from Morocco (1971), The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe (1976), Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night (1981), The Dream of Valentino (1994) and The Aspern Papers (1988). Among a number of song cycles are From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1975, and Casa Guidi, which won a Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. He has also composed orchestral works and choral pieces.