program notes by composition > C > Chorale and Alleluia

Chorale and Alleluia

Howard Hanson

Chorale and Alleluia was commissioned by Edwin Franko Goldman for the American Bandmasters Association. Completed in 1954, this was the composer’s first work for symphonic band.

Howard Hanson (1896-1981) was a distinguished American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist and ardent advocate of American music. Born in Wahoo, Nebraska to Swedish emigrants, he began music studies at an early age. He studied at the Institute of Musical Art, New York, and at Northwestern University where he played piano, cello and trombone. He became director of the Eastman School of Music and led it for forty years, turning it into one of the most prestigious music schools in America. His Scandinavian heritage played a life-long role in the inspiration of his works, which combine the ethos of Sibelius and Grieg with a distinctive American flavor.

Hanson was a leading practitioner of American Romanticism, dedicating his professional life to the encouragement, creation and preservation of beauty and emotional expressiveness in music. He cherished these ideals and his conviction that musicians and audiences alike could respond openly to each other with mutual respect. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1944, one of many honors and dis- tinctions he received in this country and abroad.

Last updated on January 1, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band