Duke, Vernon

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1903-10-10
Death 1969-01-16
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Composed 1928. First performance Boston, 25 April, 1930, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 2 in D♭ / Vladimir Dukelsky [i.e. Vernon Duke]. 1928. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204631

Composer.

From the description of Vernon Duke letter to Frederick Marvin, 1966 Apr. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339253

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? Nov. 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339261

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1966? Jan. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339255

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 July 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473506

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? Feb. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473479

From the description of Vernon Duke letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Apr. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473472

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? June 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473512

From the description of Vernon Duke letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Apr. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473476

From the description of Vernon Duke letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965 June 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473496

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 May 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473514

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Sept. 17. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473489

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 July 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473503

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 June 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473507

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? Mar. 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473478

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 June 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339284

From the description of Edwina [Coolidge?] autograph postcard to Vernon Duke, 1965? (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339236

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1967 May 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339306

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1968 July 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339290

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Nov. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339258

From the description of Vernon Duke letter to Frederick Marvin, 1967 June 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339294

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? Nov. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339264

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1966 Aug. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339299

From the description of Vernon Duke letter to Frederick Marvin, 1967 May 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339309

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1968 Nov. 28. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339287

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Dec. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339280

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1966? May 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339246

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1966? May 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339249

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Oct. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473494

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? July 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473497

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 May 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473510

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Oct. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473491

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Aug. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473486

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Sept. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473488

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Aug. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473481

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? Oct. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339269

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1967 Mar. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339302

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1965 Nov. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339267

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 Apr. 17. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339282

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 May 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339298

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1967 Sept. 28. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339289

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1968 June 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339296

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 Aug. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339313

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 Sept. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339312

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1968 May 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339307

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1966 Jan 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339277

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 May 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339297

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph letter to Frederick Marvin, 1965? Aug. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473483

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph card to Frederick Marvin, 1965 July 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463473500

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1966 June 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339286

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1967 May 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339304

From the description of Vernon Duke autograph postcard to Frederick Marvin, 1967 Mar. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 465339300

Composed 1934-36.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Posvi︠a︡shchenii︠a︡ : dli︠a︡ solo, soprano obligato i bolʹsh. orkestra / Vladimir Dukelʹskiĭ ; slova Guillaume Apollinaire. [1937]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204605

Vernon Duke, author, poet, translator, and business man, as well as composer, was born Vladimir Alexandrovitch Dukelsky on Oct. 10, 1903, in Minsk. He studied composition with Reinhold Glière and Marian Dombrovsky at the Kiev Conservatory. Upon fleeing the Revolution with his family, Dukelsky ended up in New York in 1921. There followed a string of musicals, principally in London and New York from 1925 to 1956. During the same period, Vernon Duke (his legally changed name from 1939 when he became a U.S. citizen) composed music for film and the concert hall. He died on Jan. 16, 1969, in Santa Monica, Calif.

From the description of Vernon Duke collection, 1918-1968. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71055968

Producer Florenz "Flo" Ziegfeld (1869-1932) staged his first musical comedy revue, The Follies, in 1907, and continued to present a new edition of the show annually for most of the next twenty-five years. The series' name was changed officially to The Ziegfeld Follies in 1911. After Ziegfeld's death, sporadic attempts were made by other hands to revive the series; The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 was one such production.

From the description of Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 / music by Vernon Duke ; lyrics by Ira Gershwin ; sketches by David Freedman & Ira Gershwin ; adapted by Mark Waldrop, 1999. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 707687021

Composed 1931; this new version 1943.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Ballade : for piano and strings with timpani obbligato / Vladimir Dukelsky [i.e. Vernon Duke]. 1943. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204602

Biographical Sketch

  • 1903 Oct. 10: Born Vladimir Alexandrovitch Dukelsky, Parafianove, Minsk
  • 1916 - 1919 : Studied composition with Reinhold Glière and Marian Dombrovsky at the Kiev Conservatory
  • 1920: Fled the Revolution with his family, settling first in Constantinople
  • 1921 Autumn: Sailed for New York
  • 1924: Sailed to Paris at the behest of Artur Rubinstein
  • 1925 Feb. 21: Katja the Dancer opens in London, two songs by Duke added to score
  • 1925: Zephyr and Flora performed (Diaghilev Ballets Russes, Kochno-Braque-Chanel-Massine)
  • 1926 May 22: Yvonne opens in London, half of the score by Duke
  • 1927 April: Two Little Girls in Blue closes during pre-London tryout, one song by Duke
  • 1927 Oct. 12: Bow-Wows opens in London, one song by Duke
  • 1928 Feb. 8: Yellow Mask opens in London
  • 1928 June 14: First Symphony premiered by Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony
  • 1929 August: Open Your Eyes closes during pre-London tryout
  • 1930: Duke contributes songs or instrumentals to the films: Follow the Leader, Follow Thru, Heads Up, Hold Your Man, Laughter and The Sap from Syracuse
  • 1930 June 4: Garrick Gaieties (Third Edition) opens in New York, partial score by Duke
  • 1930 Oct. 15: Three's A Crowd opens in New York, one song by Duke
  • 1931 July 21: Shoot the Works opens in New York, one song by Duke
  • 1931: Epitaph premieres in Boston; July 31st, Shoot the Works opens, which included one song by Duke
  • 1932 Oct. 5: Americana (1932) opens in New York, one song by Duke
  • 1932 Dec. 7: Walk a Little Faster opens in New York, Duke's first complete Broadway score, which included his most famous song "April in Paris"
  • 1933 May 31: "Composers' manifesto" published in the New York Times
  • 1934 Jan. 4: Ziegfeld Follies of 1934 opens in New York, music mostly by Duke
  • 1934 Dec. 27: Thumbs Up opens in New York, one song by Duke--"Autumn in New York"
  • 1934 - 35 : Duke studies orchestration with Joseph Schillinger
  • 1935 March 8: Public Gardens ballet premieres in Chicago
  • 1936 Jan. 30: Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 opens in New York, score includes "I Can't Get Started"
  • 1936 April: Revised ballet Jardin presented at the N.Y. Metropolitan Opera House, then Covent Garden (London) in June
  • 1936 Dec. 25: The Show Is On opens in New York, partial score by Duke
  • 1937: Second Symphony in Paris, conducted by Albert Wolff
  • 1937 July 11: George Gershwin dies; Duke is a pallbearer at the funeral
  • 1937 - 38 : Duke completes Gershwin's score for the film The Goldwyn Follies
  • 1938 Jan. 12: The End of St. Petersburg is premiered at Carnegie Hall
  • 1938: Duke organizes High-Low Concerts in New York
  • 1939 March 7: Vladimir Dukelsky becomes an American citizen and takes Vernon Duke as his legal name
  • 1939 Dec. 26: The White Plume retitled A Vagabond Hero opens and closes in Washington, D.C., during pre-Broadway tryout, partial score by Duke
  • 1940 May 23: Keep Off the Grass opens in New York with Duke's contribution, the ballet "Raffles," choreographed by George Balanchine for Ray Bolger
  • 1940 Oct. 25: Cabin in the Sky opens in New York, score includes "Takin' a Chance on Love"
  • 1940: Duke writes songs for the Seymour Felix-staged Midnight Frolics, and composes "New York Nocturne," to become Charlie Barnet's theme song
  • 1940 - 41 : Duke contributes songs to the shows: Crazy With the Heat, Ice-Capades of 1941 and It Happens on Ice
  • 1941 Dec. 25: Banjo Eyes opens in New York
  • 1942 Jan. 9: The Lady Comes Across opens in New York
  • 1942 April: Duke's mother dies.
  • 1942: Duke contributes a song to the film White Catgo; he is drafted and enters the Coast Guard for two and one half years; composes Cello Concerto for Gregor Piatigorsky
  • 1943 March: Cabin in the Sky (film) opens
  • 1943 March 18: Violin Concerto premiered by Koussevitzky in Boston
  • 1943 March 22: Dancing in the Streets opens and closes in Boston during pre-Broadway tryout
  • 1944 Jan. 13: Jackpot opens in New York
  • 1944 May 5: Tars and Spars opens in New York and tours the country
  • 1944 Nov. 16: Sadie Thompson opens in New York
  • 1946 Jan. 4: Cello Concerto premieres in Boston with Piatigorsky, conducted by Koussevitzky
  • 1946 Oct. 10: Sweet Bye and Bye opens and closes in New Haven during its pre-Broadway tryout
  • 1946, Nov. 18: "Ode to the Milky Way" premieres at City Center in New York, conducted by Leonard Bernstein
  • 1946 Dec. 19: Le Bal des Blanchisseuses (Ballets des Champs Elysées, Kochmo-Stanislao Lepri-Roland Petit)
  • 1948 Feb.: Paris Aller et Retour broadcast on French radio
  • 1948: Harpsichord Sonata composed for Fernando Valenti; Duke founds the Society for Forgotten Music
  • 1952 Dec. 15: Two's Company opens in New York
  • 1955: Duke's autobiography--Passport to Paris--is published
  • 1956 May 22: The Littlest Revue opens in New York (Off-Broadway,) score mostly by Duke
  • 1957: Vernon Duke marries Kay McCracken
  • 1957 Nov. 12: Time Remembered opens in New York, a play with two songs by Duke
  • 1959 Oct. 14: The Pink Jungle opens and closes in San Francisco during its pre-Broadway tryout
  • 1963: Listen Here!: a Critical Essay on Music Depreciation published. Zenda performed on the west coast
  • 1963 Aug. 5: Zenda opens and closes in San Francisco during its pre-Broadway tryout
  • 1964 Jan. 21: Cabin in the Sky revival opens in New York
  • 1969 Jan. 16: Vernon Duke dies in Santa Monica, California

From the guide to the Vernon Duke Collection, 1918-1968, (Music Division Library of Congress)

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Subjects:

  • Music, Popular (Songs, etc.)
  • Musical theater
  • Ballades (Instrumental music)
  • Pantomimes with music
  • Piano with timpani and string orchestra--Scores and parts
  • Songs (High voice) with orchestra--Scores
  • Piano music
  • Symphonies--Scores and parts
  • Musical revues, comedies, etc.--Excerpts, Arranged
  • Composers--Correspondence
  • Songs (medium voice) with piano
  • Piano with orchestra--Scores

Occupations:

  • Arrangers
  • Composers
  • Collector

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