Rorem, Ned

Rorem, Ned, 1923–, American composer and author, b. Richmond, Ind., grad. Juilliard (B.A. 1946, M.A. 1948). He is basically romantic in approach, determinedly tonal, and often lyrical. Although he composed a wide range of works, including chamber and choral music, symphonies, and tone poems, Rorem is best known for his vocal works, e.g., Air Music (1975; Pulitzer Prize), 5 Prayers for the Young (1977), Evidence of Things Unseen (1997), and the operas Miss Julie (1965), based on Strindberg's drama, and Our Town (2006), adapted from Thornton Wilder's play. From his Paris Diary (1966) to Knowing When to Stop (1994) and Lies: A Diary, 1986–1999 (2000), Rorem published a series of sexually explicit, urbane, and deftly written journals and memoirs. By his 90s, Rorem had retired from writing music and prose.

See A Ned Rorem Reader (2001).

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