Sowerby, Leo

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American composer and church musician.

From the description of [Organ symphony. Album leaf] : autograph manuscript, 1951 Mar. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270569572

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : Chicago, 13 March 1953, to Joseph Chouinard, 1953 Mar. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270962032

Composed 1926-27. Chicago, 29 March 1929, Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Frederick Stock coductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 2 in B minor / Leo Sowerby. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54883609

Commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra. Composed 1954. First performance Louisville, 8 January 1955, Louisville Orchestra, Robert Whitney conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of All on a summer's day : for orchestra / by Leo Sowerby. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54807147

Uncertain of the number of this symphony as there is no number or date on this manuscript.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony / by Leo Sowerby. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 187102404

Leo Sowerby was an American composer and church musician.

From the guide to the Leo Sowerby papers, 1911-1995, 1911-1967, (Music Library)

Composed 1921-22. First performance Rome, 8 April, 1923, Albert Coates conductor, the composer and Carlo Zecchi, soloists.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Ballad King Estmere for two pianofortes and orchestra / Leo Sowerby. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54802210

Leo Sowerby (1895-1968), the son of John and Gertrude Sowerby, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He moved to Chicago at the age of fourteen, studied piano with Calvin Lampert and Percy Grainger, composition with Arthur Olaf Anderson, and later received his Master of Music degree in 1918 at the American Conservatory, Chicago.

He began his performing career as piano soloist at the Norfolk (Conn.) Festival in 1917 and was later to perform with many other American and European orchestras. In 1917, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After serving in several ranks including that of bandmaster, with duty in the United States, England, and France, he was discharged in 1919. In 1921 Sowerby was appointed the first American composer to the Rome Prize (Prix de Rome) established in music by the American Academy in Rome. He returned to America three years later.

Sowerby held the position of instructor in theory and composition at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago from 1925-1962 and organist and choirmaster at the(Episcopal) Cathedral of St. James (1927-1962). He later became director of the College of Church Musicians, Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C. in 1962, a position he held until his death.

Sowerby won a Pulitzer Prize for "distinguished musical composition" in 1945 and became a fellow of the Royal School of Church Music in London in 1957. His memberships include the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the American Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Cliff Dwellers club of Chicago.

Sowerby's harmonic style of musical composition was modern though he remained within the limits of traditional tonality, employing a strict, formal design. Over his career he produced more than 500 works in every genre but opera, including chamber works, choral pieces, organ pieces, piano pieces, and songs. His outstanding compositions include Comes Autumn Time (1916), Set of Four "Suite of Ironics" (1918), ballad for two solo pianofortes (King Estmere, 1923), Suite "From the Northland" (1927), Symphonic poem "Prairie" (1929), and "Canticle of the Sun," for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945.

From the guide to the Leo Sowerby Papers, 1917-1963, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Society for the Publication of American Music. Papers of the Society for the Publication of American Music, 1924-1974 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Turbyfill, Mark, 1896-1990. Selected Mark Turbyfill letters, 1907-1966. Southern Illinois University, Morris Library
referencedIn Franko Goldman Family Papers, circa 1886-1972, (bulk 1931-1963) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Ballad King Estmere for two pianofortes and orchestra / Leo Sowerby. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Pop goes the weasel; quintette for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn. Manuscript. Harvard Musical Association
referencedIn E. Robert Schmitz Papers, 1909-1991 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Bacon, Ernst, 1898-1990. Ernst Bacon papers, 1926-1990. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Hough, Bassett W.,. Papers pertaining to the estate of John Powell, 1963. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Synconata / by Leo So[werby]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Correspondence to Eugene Ormandy, 1963. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, and other material, 1873-2001. Houghton Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Comes autumn time [microform] : overture / Leo Sowerby ; arr. John Philip Sousa. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Goldman, Richard Franko, 1910-1980. Franko Goldman family papers, 1886-1972 (bulk 1931-1963). Library of Congress
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Paean to Autumn / Leo Sowerby. University of Michigan
referencedIn William Ferris scores, 1952-1998 Music Library
creatorOf Leo Sowerby papers, 1911-1995, 1911-1967 Music Library
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Manuscript music compositions, 1880-1985. Houghton Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Medieval poem : for organ and orchestra. University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Sibley Music Library
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Lyric of Spring / Leo Sowerby. University of Michigan
referencedIn Serge Koussevitzky Archive, 1920-1976, (bulk 1924-1951) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Leo Sowerby Papers, 1917-1963 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Strickland, William. William Remsen Strickland collection, 1926-1991 (bulk 1946-1970). Library of Congress
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Ballad for 2 pianofortes and orchestra on the old English poem "King Estmere" / by Leo Sowerby ; reduction for piano of the orchestal score. Arizona State University Libraries
referencedIn National Orchestral Association collection of rehearsal and concert recordings [sound recording], 1938-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Wind quintet / Sowerby. University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Sibley Music Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. The Irish washerwoman [microform] / Leo Sowerby ; scored for Sousa's band by V.J. Grabel. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Quintet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. Eastman School of Music
referencedIn Vincent Persichetti collection of noncommercial recordings, 1940-1987 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Pastorale for an August night / text by Jeanne De Lamarter ; music by Leo Sowerby. University of Michigan
referencedIn The Papers of the Society for the Publication of American Music, 1924-1974 Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Society for the Publication of American Music. Papers of the Society for the Publication of American Music, 1924-1974 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. All on a summer's day : for orchestra / by Leo Sowerby. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Symphony / by Leo Sowerby. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Olaynu / Leo Sowerby. Jewish Theological Seminary of America
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Autograph letter signed, dated : Chicago, 13 March 1953, to Joseph Chouinard, 1953 Mar. 13. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Symphony no. 2 in B minor / Leo Sowerby. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Prairie : [symphonic poem for orchestra, suggested by Carl Sandburg's poem "Prairie". University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Sibley Music Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Prelude & toccata for piano and string orchestra / Purcell-Sowerby ; reduction for 2 pianos. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Sonata for violin and piano in A / by Leo Sowerby. Library of Congress
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Songs of resignation : texts from Chinese poems, 8th century, B.C. / by Leo Sowerby. University of Michigan
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. Prelude and toccata / Henry Purcell ; free arrangement for pianoforte and string orchestra by Leo Sowerby. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
referencedIn William Remsen Strickland Collection, 1926-1991, (bulk 1946-1970) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968. [Organ symphony. Album leaf] : autograph manuscript, 1951 Mar. 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Bacon, Ernst. Papers, 1926-1990 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bacon, Ernst, 1898- person
associatedWith Bacon, Ernst, 1898-1990. person
associatedWith Brumbaugh, Thomas B., person
associatedWith Chouinard, Joseph, person
associatedWith De Lamarter, Jeanne. person
associatedWith E. Robert Schmitz person
associatedWith Ferris, William, 1937-2000 person
correspondedWith Goldman, Richard Franko, 1910-1980. person
associatedWith Gould, Revetta. person
associatedWith Grabel, Victor, 1886-1965, person
correspondedWith Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 person
associatedWith Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection (Pierpont Morgan Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans person
correspondedWith Moldenhauer, Hans, collector. person
associatedWith National Orchestral Association (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Park Avenue Synagogue (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Persichetti, Vincent, 1915-1987 person
associatedWith Purcell, Henry, 1659-1695. person
associatedWith Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. person
correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Society for the Publication of American Music. corporateBody
associatedWith Sousa Archives for Band Research. corporateBody
associatedWith Sousa, John Philip, 1854-1932, person
associatedWith Sousa Preservation Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Sousa Preservation Project. corporateBody
correspondedWith Strickland, William person
correspondedWith Strickland, William. person
associatedWith The Society for the Publication of American Music person
correspondedWith Turbyfill, Mark, 1896-1990. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Music
Symphonies (Organ)--Excerpts
Band music, Arranged--Scores and parts
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Orchestral music--Scores
Orchestral music--Scores and parts
Synagogue music
Pianists--United States
Organ with orchestra--Scores
Piano with string orchestra--Scores
Toccata
Symphonies--Scores
Sacred songs (High voice) with organ
Sonatas (Violin and piano)--Scores and parts
Composers--United States
Synagogue music--Sabbath services
Music--Manuscripts
Jazz
Wind quintets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe)--Scores
Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, 4 parts) with organ
Symphonic poems
Music--20th century
Jews--Music
Musicians--United States
Piano with string orchestra--2 -piano scores
Pianos (2) with orchestra--Scores and parts
Overtures (Band), Arranged--Scores and parts
Pianos (2) with orchestra--Solos with piano
Wind quintets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn oboe)--Scores and parts
Songs (medium voice) with piano
Songs (Medium voice) with instrumental ensemble--Scores and parts
Symphonies--Scores and parts
Occupation
Collector
Composers
Musicians
Function

Person

Birth 1895-05-01

Death 1968-07-07

Americans

Information

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