program notes by composition > C > Celebration Overture

Celebration Overture

Paul Creston, Op. 61

Paul Creston (1906-1985) was an American com poser of classical music. Born Giuseppe Guttoveggio in New York City, Creston took up the piano and violin at the age of 8. His early formal education ended after 2 1/2 years of high school because of poor family finances.

Largely self-taught as a composer, Creston was one of the most widely performed American composers of the 1940s and 50s. His compositions feature lush harmonies, opulent orchestration, and a pronounced, intoxicating rhythmic pulse.

Creston composed over 120 pieces for piano, chamber ensembles, chorus, symphonic band, and orchestra. He is especially recognized for his contributions to the literature of neglected instruments such as the marimba, trombone, harp, accordion, and saxophone. Several of his works were inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman. From 1944 to 1950, Creston conducted a quartet on the radio program "The Hour of Faith," which aired each Sunday morning. He worked as a composition instructor at over fourteen colleges and universities.

Last updated on July 18, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band