Thorne, Francis

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American jazz musician and composer.

From the description of Interview, Dec. 2, 1977 [sound recording]. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155861548

Prolific American composer Francis Thorne (born 1922) is well known for his work in a variety of genres, as well as for his service in music administration.

Born in Bay Shore, New York, Thorne came from a musical family. His father had been a ragtime pianist and his grandfather, Gustave Kobbé was an eminent music critic and writer. Thorne's own approach to music was equally eclectic. He received his formal music training at Yale University with Paul Hindemith. After graduation, Thorne served in the United States Navy during World War II. Following the war, he worked in both the banking industry and as a stock broker on Wall Street. In 1955, Thorne abandoned the field of finance and tried his hand again at music. Duke Ellington recommended Thorne to Manhattan's Hickory House, where he landed a two-year engagement as a jazz pianist. In 1958, Thorne moved his family to Florence, Italy in the hopes of studying composition with Luigi Dallapiccola. Thorne instead became a private student of David Diamond. Thorne would incorporate jazz into his formal compositions. A seminal work in this vein was Nocturnes for Voice and Piano. His first big success as a professional composer was the work Elegy for Orchestra, which received its premiere with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1964. Thorne also became the founder and administrator of the Thorne Music Fund from 1965-1974. This fund awarded emerging composers three-year fellowships to focus on their writing. Thorne later served as the executive director of the Naumburg Foundation and the American Composers Alliance. He also has been the president and co-founder of the American Composers Orchestra.

From the description of Francis Thorne papers, 1956-2004. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 183327885

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 Thorne, Francis. Four poems of Robert Fitzgerald : for medium voice (1962) / Francis Thorne. Middlebury College
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Piano sonata in four movements, 1972 / Francis Thorne. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Four poems of Robert Fitzgerald : for medium voice / Francis Thorne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Philadelphia Orchestra. Transcription of WFLN radio broadcast [sound recording], 1964 November 20. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Aaron Copland Collection, 1841-1991, (bulk 1911-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Randolph S. Rothschild Collection, 1942-1992, (bulk 1973-1985) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Serge Koussevitzky Archive, 1920-1976, (bulk 1924-1951) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990. Leonard Bernstein collection : Part I, circa 1900-1994 (bulk 1933-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Three dance movements : (1964) : for clarinet and keyboard / Francis Thorne. SUNY at Buffalo, University at Buffalo
creatorOf Smit, Leo, 1921-1999. Sonata in one movement : for piano solo, 1951-55-62 / Leo Smit. Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Rare Books
referencedIn Leonard Altman Papers, 1930-1995 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Burkat, Leonard, 1919-1992. The Leonard Burkat papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Naumburg Foundation. Records, 1925-1990 (bulk 1938-1989). The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Eight introspections : for piano solo / Francis Thorne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Atkins, Irene Kahn, 1922-. Major figures in American music [S-Z] : [oral history]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Quincy Porter Papers, 1897-1975 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn The Virgil Thomson Papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn William Remsen Strickland Collection, 1926-1991, (bulk 1946-1970) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Correspondence with Eugene Ormandy, 1978. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. The Virgil Thomson papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf American Music Edition records, 1920-1997, 1951-1991 Music Library
creatorOf Thorne, Francis,. Interview, Dec. 2, 1977 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Strickland, William. William Remsen Strickland collection, 1926-1991 (bulk 1946-1970). Library of Congress
referencedIn Burkat, Leonard, 1919-. The Leonard Burkat papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Altman, Leonard, 1920-1996. Leonard Altman papers, 1930-1995. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Partita no. 2 : 1. Overture / Francis Thorne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Francis Thorne papers, 1956-2004. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Cage, John. Seventy-four : for orchestra / John Cage. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Francis Thorne papers, 1956-2004 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. The eternal light : (1979) : for soprano (tenor) and orchestra : a setting of the final stanzas of Dante's Paradiso (Canto XXXIII) / Francis Thorne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. [Presentation] Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. The Virgil Thomson papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Archer, Violet. Choral octavos by Yale alumni, 1897-1972 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Pop partita : for piano and chamber orchestra : Broadway and 52nd revisited : in six movements / Francis Thorne. SUNY at Buffalo, University at Buffalo
referencedIn The Leonard Burkat Papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Third string quartet / Francis Thorne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Notes on String Quartet No.3, 1977 November 29. New Hampshire Newsp Project
creatorOf Thorne, Francis. Third symphony (1969) / Francis Thorne. Indiana University
creatorOf Cage, John. [Worksheets for Seventy-four] / John Cage. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Leonard Bernstein Collection, circa 1900-1994, (bulk 1933-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
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associatedWith Harris, Roy, 1898-1979 person
associatedWith Haubiel, Charles, 1892-1978 person
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associatedWith Jones, Charles, 1910-1997 person
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associatedWith King-Smith, Grace person
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correspondedWith Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 person
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associatedWith Lipscomb, Helen, 1921-1974 person
associatedWith Lipsky, Alexander, 1900-1985 person
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associatedWith MacDowell, Edward, 1860-1908 person
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associatedWith Pozdro, John, 1923- person
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correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Smit, Leo, 1921-1999. person
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associatedWith Stoessel, Albert, 1894-1943 person
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correspondedWith Strickland, William person
correspondedWith Strickland, William. person
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associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. person
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associatedWith Ussachevsky, Vladimir, 1911-1990 person
associatedWith Van Vactor, David, 1906-1994 person
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associatedWith Vázquez Sebastiá, Rafael person
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Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Composers--United States--20th century
String quartets
Piano music
Dance music
Sonatas (piano)
Symphonies (String orchestra)--Score
Composers--20th century
Songs (medium voice) with piano
Clarinet and piano music
Izler Solomon Collection
String quartets--Scores
Suites (Bassoon, clarinet, violin, viola, double bass)--Excerpts--Scores
Music--Scholarships, fellowships, etc
Songs (High voice) with orchestra--Scores
Suites (Piano with chamber orchestra)--Parts (solo)
Occupation
Composers
Collector
Function

Person

Birth 1922-06-23

Male

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