Composers' Forum (U.S.)

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Frank Wigglesworth (1918-1996) was an American composer, educator, and champion of new music.

From the guide to the Frank Wigglesworth papers, 1895-1996, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

The Composers' Forum was founded in New York by Ashley Pettis in 1935. Funded by the Federal Music Project (a division of the Works Progress Administration), its goal was to present the work of emerging American composers; in its early years it was also known as the Composers' Forum-Laboratory. The Forum's first concert was held on October 30th, 1935, and by 1940 more than 1600 works had been presented. For much of its history, concerts featured moderated question-and-answer sessions with the composers; the questions taken from the audience.

When the WPA was shut down, the organization moved in 1940 to San Francisco under private patronage. It continued for two seasons before World War II temporarily halted its activities. It was revived in 1947 under the joint sponsorship of the New York Public Library and Columbia University. The chief of the Library's Music Division, Carleton Sprague-Smith, played a large role in the direction of the Forum in those years. From 1951 to 1960 the organization was led by the composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks. The composers Frank Wigglesworth and Jack Beeson oversaw the organization in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The Composers' Forum closed its doors around 2003. Today organizations presenting and performing new music exist in various cities around the United States and in other countries (sometimes even using the same name); however the Composers' Forum was among the first of its kind and was for many years one of the only performance outlets available for contemporary composers.

Source: B.C. Vermeersch. "Composers' Forum." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/42750 (accessed February 14, 2012).

From the guide to the Composers' Forum Inc. records, 1935-2002, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Federal Music Project (U.S.). Federal Music Project collection, 1935-1948 (bulk 1936-1941). Library of Congress
referencedIn Wigglesworth, Frank, 1918-1996. The Frank Wigglesworth papers, 1895-1996. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Schuman, William, 1910-1992. Papers and records, 1933-1986. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn John Edmunds correspondence and other papers, 1957-1961 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Federal Music Project Collection, 1935-1948, (bulk 1936-1941) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Edmunds, John, 1913-1986. John Edmunds correspondence and other papers, 1957-1961. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Composers' Forum Inc. records, 1935-2002 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn William Schuman papers and records, 1933-1986 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Composer's Forum programs, 1937-1967 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Frank Wigglesworth papers, 1895-1996 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Composers' Forum (U.S.). Composers' Forum Inc. Records, 1935-2002. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Composers' Forum (U.S.). Programs, 1937-1967. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abrams, Muhal Richard, 1930- person
associatedWith American Academy in Rome corporateBody
associatedWith American Composers Alliance corporateBody
associatedWith American Music Center (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith American Music Collection corporateBody
associatedWith Antheil, George, 1900-1959. person
associatedWith Arma, Paul, 1905- person
associatedWith Bauer, Marion, 1882-1955. person
associatedWith Beeson, Jack, 1921-2010. person
associatedWith Biscardi, Chester person
associatedWith Bloch, Ernest, 1880-1959. person
associatedWith Bonnemere, Eddie, 1921- person
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. person
associatedWith Brant, Henry, 1913-2008. person
associatedWith Braxton, Anthony person
associatedWith Braxton, Anthony. person
associatedWith Broadcast Music, inc corporateBody
associatedWith Brooks, Richard, 1942- person
associatedWith Cage, John person
associatedWith Cage, John. person
associatedWith Century Association (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Chadabe, Joel person
associatedWith Chadabe, Joel. person
associatedWith Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East corporateBody
associatedWith Chenoweth, Gerald, 1943- person
associatedWith Composers Recordings, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Cone, Edward T person
associatedWith Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990. person
associatedWith Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965 person
associatedWith Cowell, Sidney Robertson person
associatedWith De Kenessey, Stefania Maria, 1956- person
associatedWith Dello Joio, Norman, 1913-2008. person
associatedWith Diamond, David, 1915-2005. person
associatedWith Edmunds, John, 1913-1986. person
associatedWith Einbond, Aaron, 1978- person
associatedWith Engel, Lehman, 1910-1982. person
associatedWith Federal Music Project (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Finney, Ross Lee, 1906-1997. person
associatedWith Foss, Lukas, 1922-2009. person
associatedWith Freed, Isadore, 1900-1960. person
associatedWith Glanville-Hicks, Peggy person
associatedWith Glanville-Hicks, Peggy. person
associatedWith Glick, Jacob. person
associatedWith Godfrey, Daniel person
associatedWith Goeb, Roger, 1914-1997. person
associatedWith Greenwich House Music School corporateBody
associatedWith Hagen, Daron, 1961- person
associatedWith Halac, José person
associatedWith Hanson, Howard, 1896-1981. person
associatedWith Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003 person
associatedWith Harris, Roy, 1898-1979. person
associatedWith Ito, Reiko person
associatedWith Jacobi, Frederick, 1891-1952. person
associatedWith Jenkins, Leroy. person
associatedWith Kennan, Kent Wheeler, 1913-2003. person
associatedWith Kolb, Barbara person
associatedWith Kronos Quartet corporateBody
associatedWith Kronos Quartet. corporateBody
associatedWith Lieberson, Goddard, 1911-1977. person
associatedWith Lockwood, Annea, 1939- person
associatedWith Luening, Otto, 1900-1996. person
associatedWith MacDowell Colony, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Maggio, Robert person
associatedWith Maroney, Denman person
associatedWith Martin, Henry, 1950- person
associatedWith Mason, Daniel Gregory, 1873-1953. person
associatedWith Mason, Lucas person
associatedWith Milhaud, Darius, 1892-1974. person
associatedWith New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith New York Youth Symphony corporateBody
associatedWith Owen, Richard, 1922- person
associatedWith Parran, J. D. person
associatedWith Pettis, Ashley, b. 1892. person
associatedWith Phillips, Peter, 1930- person
associatedWith Post, David L person
associatedWith Rakowski, David person
associatedWith Relâche (Musical group) corporateBody
associatedWith Rieti, Vittorio, 1898- person
associatedWith Rush, Loren, 1935- person
associatedWith Salzberg, Marvin, 1931- person
associatedWith Schuman, William, 1910-1992. person
associatedWith Sembret, John person
associatedWith Sendak, Maurice person
associatedWith Sharp, Elliott person
associatedWith Sharp, Elliott. person
associatedWith Shepherd, Arthur, 1880-1958. person
associatedWith Smith, Wadada Leo, 1941- person
associatedWith Spoerri, Bruno person
associatedWith Spoerri, Bruno. person
associatedWith Sprague-Smith, Carleton person
associatedWith Sprague-Smith, Carleton. person
associatedWith Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965 person
associatedWith Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977. person
associatedWith Temperley, Davy person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. person
associatedWith United States. Works Progress Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965 person
associatedWith Virgil Thomson Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Wagenaar, Bernard, 1894-1971. person
associatedWith Wigglesworth, Frank, 1918-1996. person
associatedWith Wilson, Brian person
associatedWith Ziffrin, Marilyn J., 1926- person
associatedWith Zwilich, Ellen Taaffe, 1939- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Occupation
Musicians
Composers
Function
Composers
Musician

Corporate Body

Active 1937

Active 1967

Information

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