American composers orchestra

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Since its founding in 1977, the American Composers Orchestra has devoted itself exclusively to American orchestral repertoire of the 20th century. Dennis Russell Davies is its principal conductor.

From the description of Programs, 1977-1986. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122533922

From the guide to the Programs, 1977-1986, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Francis Burritt Thorne Jr. was born June 23, 1922 in Bay Shore, New York. He attended Yale University studying music with Paul Hidemith. Thorne graduated in 1942. He joined the United States Navy during World War II. After the war he worked in both the banking industry and as a stock broker on Wall Street.

In 1955 Thorne abandoned the banking industry and try his hand again at music. Duke Ellington recommended Thorne to Manhattan’s Hickory House, his first professional job as a jazz pianist. In 1958 Thorne moved his family to Florence, Italy in the hopes of studying composition with Luigi Dallapiccola. Because Dallapiccola had recently returned to the United States, Thorne became a private student of David Diamond for two years.

Thorne combined his passion for the western traditional music with jazz. His first seminal work was the Nocturnes for voice and piano. His first big success as a professional composer was the work Elegy. Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra premiered the work in 1964.

Thorne has produced on average from two to five works a year in variety of genres since the early sixties. To date his twenty-three orchestral works include five symphonies, several works for wind ensemble, four string quartets, a number of works for mixed chamber ensemble, and numerous vocal and choral works, including the opera Mario and the Magician.

Thorne was the founder and administrator of the Thorne Music Fund from 1965-1974. The fund awarded composers three-year fellowships, so that they could concentrate on their music. Thorne has served as the executive director of the Naumburg Foundation and the American Composers Alliance. He has also been the President and co-Founder of the American Composers Orchestra.

In 1985 he received the Commendation of Excellence award from the Broadcast Music, Inc. In 1987 he received the Laurel Leaf Award from the American Composers Alliance. He was elected in 1988 to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Thorne lives with his wife Ann in New York City. The couple has three daughters and four grandsons.

From the guide to the Francis Thorne papers, 1956-2004, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Cage, John. Seventy-four : for orchestra / John Cage. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Francis Thorne papers, 1956-2004. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Programs, 1977-1986 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Cage, John. [Worksheets for Seventy-four] / John Cage. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Jacob Druckman collection of noncommercial sound recordings [sound recording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Fromm Music Foundation scores and recordings, 1943-2011. Houghton Library
creatorOf American Composers Orchestra. Programs, 1977-1986. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Francis Thorne papers, 1956-2004 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Composers Alliance corporateBody
associatedWith American Music Collection corporateBody
associatedWith Cage, John. person
associatedWith Cage, John. person
associatedWith Davies, Dennis Russell. person
associatedWith Diamond, David, 1915-2005 person
associatedWith Dodge, Joseph Jeffers person
associatedWith Druckman, Jacob, 1928-1996 person
associatedWith Fromm Music Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Thorne, Francis. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Concert programs

Corporate Body

Active 1956

Active 2004




Ark ID: w6cp36jx

SNAC ID: 17820338