Turner, Charles Tennyson, 1808-1879

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Charles Turner (1921-2003) was a composer, violinist, and teacher. Born in Baltimore, his family moved to Anderson, Indiana in 1926. Turner demonstrated an interest and talent in music from the age of three, and began studying piano at five and violin at seven. When he was twelve, Turner's family moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where he studied violin at the Detroit Institute of Musical Art. He graduated from Baldwin High School as class valedictorian in 1939, after which he won a scholarship to study for a year at the Curtis Institute of Music with Lea Luboschutz.

After his studies at Curtis, Turner entered the Navy, serving in the Pacific, and returned home at the end of World War II. He immediately moved to New York where he entered the Juilliard School, studying with Louis Persinger, Peter Mennin and Stefan Wolpe.

Gore Vidal introduced Turner to Samuel Barber in 1950, after which Turner joined the circle of musicians, artists, and intellectuals based around Capricorn, Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti's home in Mount Kisco, New York. In 1951, Turner performed Barber's Violin Concerto under the composer's direction while touring Europe. Turner became close to Barber, who encouraged the violinist to take up composition. After studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, Turner returned to the United States and studied with Barber for five years (he may have been Barber's only pupil). Barber dedicated his piano piece Souvenirs (1952) to Turner, and delegated Turner to orchestrate one of his final works, Canzonetta for Oboe and Strings (1978), after his death. In the weeks before the composer's death from cancer in 1981, Turner helped take care of Barber.

Turner's first successful piece, Encounter (1954), was premiered in 1955 by the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of George Szell, and was also conducted by Fritz Reiner, Dmitri Mitropolous, and Thomas Schippers. Schippers, a friend from the Capricorn scene, continued to perform Turner's music in later years. Turner's ballet Pastorale (1957), commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein, was created for Francisco Mancion and the New York City Ballet; it was also performed by the Joffrey and several other ballet companies. His other works include Serenade for Icarus (1960) for violin and piano; The Marriage of Orpheus, an orchestral work; The Ballad of Barnaby, a setting of a W.H. Auden play; chamber pieces; and songs for voice and piano.

Turner was a MacDowell Colony fellow in 1958. Throughout his career he taught composition, harmony, counterpoint and orchestration at schools in New York City, Connecticut and Long Island. One of his students, at the United Nations International School, was the saxophonist and composer John Zorn.

Dickinson, Peter. Charles Turner: Interview with Peter Dickinson, New York City, May 13, 1981. In Dickinson, Samuel Barber Remembered: A Centenary Tribute. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2010, pp. 73-79.

Wittke, Paul. "Samuel Barber." G. Schirmer Inc.

From the guide to the Charles Turner papers, 1921-2003, 1933-1992, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Launched in the fall of 1961 by Peter Countryman and a committee of the Student Christian Movement in New England, the Northern Student Movement (NSM) grew from a loose group of campus organizations raising funds for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and its student-led civil rights initiatives in the South, to student-run tutorial programs in blighted urban areas accessible to college campuses in the Northeast, and to a federation of community action projects in the black ghettos of eight Northern cities. William Strickland succeeded Countryman as executive director in September 1963.

NSM encompassed the tutorial programs and community groups it joined or helped foster. By the fall of 1963, it had a staff of fifty fulltime activists and more than 2,500 student volunteers. Its year-round tutorial programs, with some 4000 tutors and 5000 elementary and high school students, emphasized one-on-one instruction. Its community action projects, including the Boston Action Group, the North End Community Action Project in Hartford, the NSM Freedom Library in Philadelphia, the Harlem Action Group in New York and the Adult Community Movement for Equality in Detroit, organized consumer boycotts against companies that discriminated against blacks; led rent strikes and civil rights demonstrations; organized "Freedom Libraries," leadership training programs for high school dropouts, and African-American history workshops to foster black pride; helped launch several community newspapers, and enlisted local youth to transform vacant lots into neighborhood parks and playgrounds.

From the guide to the Northern Student Movement records, 1961-1966, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Frederick Tennyson letters from various correspondents, 1831-1884. Houghton Library
referencedIn (XI. ff. 646). 16-31 Aug. 1852.includes:ff. 3, 480 John Masterman, MP: Letters to the Postmaster General: 1852. f. 7 Sir Glynne Earle Welby, Baronet: Letters to the Postmaster General: 1852. f. 10 W-H-Mackey: Letters to P. Dickson: 1852. f. 13 W... British Library
referencedIn "TIME BOOK" of Charles Turner, A.R.A., the engraver (1774-1851), 1 Jan. 1798-1 May 1804, giving notes of the pictures on which he was engaged, professional and personal accompts, etc. Most of the information has been incorporated by Alfred Whitman i... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CV ( ff. 239 ). Bills, receipts, etc., of illustrators and engravers; 14 Feb. 1837 -17 Feb. 1874.includes:f. 1 John Cawse, painter: Receipt to R. Bentley: 1837.: Signed.ff. 2, 146, 147 Reverend Edward Bradley, alias 'Cuthbert Bede.': Corres... British Library
referencedIn (XXI. ff. 510). 21 Dec. 1832-20 Jan. 1853.includes:f. 1 Fitzherbert Macqueen: Letters to the Postmaster General: 1852. f. 3 Anthony Lefroy: Letters to the Postmaster General: 1852. f. 5 Joseph R-Spencer: Letters to the Postmaster General: 1852. ... British Library
creatorOf Turner, Charles Tennyson, 1808-1879. Autograph letter signed C. Tennyson to "My dear Emily" May 7], [s.d.]. Wellesley College
referencedIn Vol. XIV. (ff. 636). Aug. 1854-Nov. 1857.includes:ff. 1, 56, 274 Frederic. T-Dinsdale: Letters to Rev. P. Bliss: 1852-1855. ff. 3, 281 Henry Foss: Letters to Rev. P. Bliss: 1825-1855. ff. 4, 5, 141, 142 Sir Robert Harry Inglis, 2nd Baronet; MP: Le... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CXIX (ff. 221). 4 Sept. 1780-10 Nov. 1781.Hon Henry Seymour-Conway, Field-Marshal 1793: Correspondence with the 1st Earl of Liverpool: 1767-1795.M-Pierrepont, Secretary to the 1st Earl of Liverpool: Letter-books of the same written by: 1775-178... British Library
referencedIn (XII. ff. 455). 1-12 Sept. 1852.includes:f. 1 Urania Elizabeth Butler, wife of Sir Edward Butler: Letters to P. Dickson: 1852. f. 13 James Hans Hamilton, MP: Letters to P. Dickson: 1852. f. 15 Major-General Sir John Owen, KH: Letter to A. W. Blake,... British Library
referencedIn MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE LETTERS, etc., English and foreign; 1613-1818:-1. [Richard Butler, 3rd Viscount] Mountgarrett, to Sir Williain Andrewes, Knt., with a present of a goshawk, etc.; Ballyne, 12 Sept. 1613. f 1. 2. [Henry Percy, 9th Earl of] North... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCCV (ff. 273). 31 Mar.-May 1885.includes:f. 1 Samuel Whitbread, MP: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1868-1893.ff. 4, 6, 210, 226, 247, 261, 267 Lord Edmond George Petty-Fitzmaurice, Baron Fitzmaurice: Correspondence with W. E. Gladsto... British Library
referencedIn (XV. ff. 563). 9-22 Oct. 1852.Charles Pennell Measor: Letter to P. Dickeon: 1852.includes:ff. 6, 452 Margaret Jane Irving: Letters to the 4th Lord Hardwicke: 1852. f. 10 Timsbury, Somerset: Memorial to the Postmaster General: 1852. f. 12 David Stew... British Library
creatorOf Turner, Charles Tennyson, 1808-1879. Letter to "My dear Sir" : Grasby Vicarage, England : ALS, 1861 May 30. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
referencedIn (XVIII. ff. 544). 13-30 Nov. 1852.includes:f. 1 Hon Eliot Thomas Yorke, MP: Letters to P. Diekson: 1852. f. 3 James Brownlow William Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury: Letters to the 4th Lord Hardwicke: 1852. f. 5 Captain Thomas Bateson, M P for Lon... British Library
creatorOf Charles Turner papers, 1921-2003, 1933-1992 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Vol. CCCXIX (ff. 233). Oct.-Dec. 1864.includes:f. 1 Constance Harriet Mahonesa Kerr, wife of William, 8th Marquess of Lothian: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1859-1892.f. 3 George John West, 5th Earl De La Warr; afterwards Sackville-West: Correspon... British Library
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
referencedIn United States Sanitary Commission records. Army and Navy Claim Agency archives, 1861-1870 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn War of 1812 mss., 1776-1879 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Northern Student Movement records, 1961-1966 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Vol. XV. (ft. 489). T-Wa.includes:ff. 1-10 Rear-Admiral James Haldane Tait: Biographical notes: 1844.ff. 11-17 Captain Robert Tait, RN: Biographical notes: 1847.ff.18-33 Captain Charles Talbot, RN: Biographical notes: 1848.f. 34 Comm. John Th... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXX (ff. 277). Jan.-Mar. 1865.includes:f. 1 John Hilson, of Jedburgh: Letter to W. E. Gladstone: 1865.f. 3 Peter Mcnaughton, shopkeeper: "Chraig Nan Al"; verse translation of "Rock of Ages" by: 1865.: Gaelic.f. 3 Gaelic Language: "Chraig... British Library
referencedIn Hallam, Arthur Henry, 1811-1833. Autograph letter signed Arthur to: "My dearest Emily" March 1, 1833. Wellesley College
referencedIn Autograph File, T, 1580-1975. Houghton Library
referencedIn Johnsonian Miscellanies, extra-illustrated, 1538-1900 (inclusive);, 1738-1866 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Frederick Tennyson letters from various correspondents, 1831-1884. Houghton Library
referencedIn Boswell's Life of Johnson : including Boswell's Journal of a tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a journey into North Wales, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1464-1897 (inclusive), 1724-1874 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCLXXV (ff. 421). 1-15 Dec. 1844.includes:ff. 1, 3 Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, 1st Baron Metcalfe: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1844.f. 5 Sir Charles Rowan, KCB; Chief Commissioner of Police: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1830-1844.... British Library
creatorOf Turner, Charles Tennyson, 1808-1879. Letter to "My dear Sir" : Grasby Vicarage, England : ALS, 1860 July 2. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn East India Company Manuscript Collection, 1598-1914, 1750-1850 Cleveland Public Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXXI (ff. 332). Apr.-June 1865.includes:f. 1 Reverend William Nassau Molesworth, historian: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1865-1876.ff. 4, 20, 89, 98, 141, 209 Mountague Bernard, international lawyer: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 18... British Library
referencedIn James Freeman Clarke family papers, 1777-1914. Houghton Library
referencedIn Letters of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., collected and edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1413-1900 (inclusive), 1775-1839 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Vol. XLIX. (ff. 402). Home Correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1754.George II of England: Correspondence of the Duke of Newcastle, Sec. of State, etc.: 1727 -1760.: Diplomatic.includes:ff. 3, 25, 57, 129, 142, 269, 281, 307, 359 Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardw... British Library
referencedIn (XIV. ff. 452). 28 Sept.-8 Oct. 1852.includes:f. 4 James Fuller Madox: Letter to the Postmaster General: 1852. ff. 6, 241 Henry George Liddell, 2nd Earl of Ravensworth: Letters to P. Dickson: 1852. f. 9 Sir John Hope, Baronet; MP: Letter to P. Dick... British Library
referencedIn (XX. ff. 485). 10-20 Dec. 1852.Theology: Tracts: 15th-16th cent. Lat.includes:ff. 1, 354 Sarah Anne MacDonnell, widow of J A MacDonnell: Letters to the Postmaster General: 1852. f. 8 Sir John Villiers Shelley, 7th Baronet; of Michelgrove: Testimonia... British Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adult Community Movement for Equality (Detroit, Mich.) corporateBody
associatedWith Barber, Samuel, 1910-1981 person
associatedWith Boston Action Group corporateBody
associatedWith Boswell, James, 1740-1795 person
associatedWith Churchville, John person
correspondedWith Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Corigliano, John, 1938- person
associatedWith Countryman, Peter person
associatedWith Diamond, David, 1915-2005 person
associatedWith Hallam, Arthur Henry, 1811-1833. person
associatedWith Harlem Action Group corporateBody
associatedWith Hill, George Birkbeck Norman, 1835-1903 person
associatedWith Hollingsworth, Stanley person
associatedWith Jeffrey, Sharon person
associatedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784 person
associatedWith Joyce, Frank H person
associatedWith Lee, Noël, 1924- person
associatedWith Leiken, Samuel person
associatedWith Menotti, Gian Carlo, 1911-2007 person
associatedWith Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party corporateBody
associatedWith Morrill, Peter person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith North End Community Action Group (Hartford, Conn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Northern Student Movement corporateBody
associatedWith N.S.M Freedom Library corporateBody
associatedWith Ogden, C. K. (Charles Kay), 1889-1957. person
associatedWith Perle, George, 1915-2009 person
associatedWith Pollack, Howard person
associatedWith Rorem, Ned, 1923- person
associatedWith Rothstein, Edward, 1952- person
associatedWith Runciman, Steven, 1903-2000 person
associatedWith Shaw, Sarah-Ann person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Strickland, William, 1937- person
associatedWith Student Christian Movement in New England corporateBody
associatedWith Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Styron, William, 1925-2006 person
associatedWith Sutton, Charyn Diane, 1947-2004 person
associatedWith Tennyson, Emily Sellwood Tennyson, Baroness, 1813-1896. person
associatedWith Tennyson, Frederick, 1807-1898 person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989 person
associatedWith United States Sanitary Commission corporateBody
associatedWith Zamboni, Karl person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Cupar, Fifeshire
Gravesend, Kent
Reading, Berkshire
Liverpool, Lancashire
Abergele, Denbighshire
Timsbury, Somerset
Melcombe Regis, Dorset
Worcester, Worcestershire
Bolsover, Derbyshire
Wickham Market, Suffolk
Paris, France
Lewes, Sussex
Yarmouth, Norfolk
Monkstown, Dublin
Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
East Ilsley, Berkshire
Edinburgh, Scotland
Liverpool, Lancashire
Kidderminster, Worcestershire
Ashwell, Hertfordshire
Inchigeelagh, Cork
Dublin, Ireland
Ross-shire, Scotland
Linkinhorne, Cornwall
Chorley, Lancashire
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Eaton-Hastings, Berkshire
Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Barley, Hertfordshire
Blackburn, Lancashire
Coleraine, Londonderry
Warrington, Lancashire
Edgbaston, Warwickshire
Liverpool, Lancashire
Lidney, Gloucestershire
Marnoch, Banffshire
Tranmere, Cheshire
Edgbaston, Warwickshire
Birmingham, Warwickshire
Liverpool, Lancashire
Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire
Preston-Brook, Cheshire
Barkway, Hertfordshire
Rouen, France
Corsham, Wiltshire
Manchester, Lancashire
Clapham, Surrey
East Retford, Nottinghamshire
North Shields, Northumberland
Dalkey, Dublin
Lichfield, Staffordshire
Church-Stretton, Shropshire
Breinton, Herefordshire
Sennen, Cornwall
Gravesend, Kent
Dalkey, Dublin
Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire
Charlton, Kent
Perth, Perthshire
Manchester, Lancashire
Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
Dudley, Worcestershire
Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire
Portland, Dorset
Minster in Thanet, Kent
York, Yorkshire
Sestos, Greece
Rothwell, West Riding of Yorkshire
Farnley-Tyas, Yorkshire
Royston, Hertfordshire
Whitchurch, Shropshire
Alford, Lincolnshire
Melton-Mowbray, Leicestershire
Rhyl, Flintshire
Skipton, Yorkshire
Birkenhead, Cheshire
Plymouth, Devon
Birmingham, Warwickshire
Manchester, Lancashire
Greenwich, Kent
Bedford, Bedfordshire
Walthamstow, Essex
Rothesay, Buteshire
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire
Balderston, Lancashire
Fowlis-Wester, Perthshire
Edinburgh, Scotland
Dublin, Ireland
Mordon, Surrey
Crimond, Aberdeenshire
Kenilworth, Warwickshire
Newry, Down
Birmingham, Warwickshire
Dulverton, Somerset
East Looe, Cornwall
West Indies, America
Southill, Cornwall
Dublin, Ireland
China, Asia
Kingoldrum, Forfarshire
Ireland, Europe
Mohill, Leitrim
Cockermouth, Cumberland
Holton St Mary, Suffolk
Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh
Carmarthenshire, Wales
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Bolsover, Derbyshire
Penzance, Cornwall
Jersey, Channel Islands
Dorset, England
Alfreton, Derbyshire
Dumbartonshire, Scotland
West Looe, Cornwall
Knutsford, Cheshire
Basingstoke, Southampton
Ardrossan, Ayrshire
Bingham, Nottinghamshire
Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Kincardineshire, Scotland
Cumnock, Ayrshire
Clitheroe, Lancashire
Woodside, Aberdeen
Colne, Lancashire
Fulham, Middlesex
Rent strikes--United States
Civil rights movements--United States
School integration--North Carolina--Durham
Community organization--New York (State)--New York
Community organization--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Student movements--United States--20th century
College students--United States--Political activity
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States
Tutors and tutoring--Michigan--Detroit
Black nationalism
Community organization--Massachusetts--Boston
Tutors and tutoring--Connecticut--Hartford
Segregation in education--Law and legislation--United States
Tutors and tutoring--New York (State)--New York
African American student movements
Education--Southern States
School improvement programs--United States
African American college students--Political activity
Community organization--Michigan--Detroit
Segregation in education--United States
Community organization--Connecticut--Hartford
Tutors and tutoring--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Education--United States
African Americans--Civil rights
Tutors and tutoring--Massachusetts--Boston


Birth 1808-07-04

Death 1879-04-25




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