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Connecticut State Composer

Charles Ives (1874-1954)

Connecticut State Composer - Charles Ives

Adopted in 1991

Charles Edward Ives (1874-1954) was born at the family home in Danbury, and was taught the basics of harmony, counterpoint and fugue by his father George, who was a famous Civil War bandmaster. He entered Yale University in 1894 and studied with Horatio Parker, a composer and professor of composition. In 1908, he married Harmony Twitchell and opened what became a large and successful insurance agency in New York City, but continued to live and compose music in Danbury. His works include symphonies, tone poems and nearly 200 songs. Ives was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for his Third Symphony and was designated the State Composer by the General Assembly in 1991.

Connecticut State Composer: Charles Ives

Charles Edward Ives ( October 20, 1874 - May 19, 1954) was an American modernist composer. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though his music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, he came to be regarded as an "American original". Ives combined the American popular and church-music traditions of his youth with European art music, and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones, foreshadowing many musical innovations of the 20th century.

Sources of Ives' tonal imagery are hymn tunes and traditional songs, the town band at holiday parade, the fiddlers at Saturday night dances, patriotic songs, sentimental parlor ballads, and the melodies of Stephen Foster.

Ives died of a stroke in 1954 in New York City. His widow bequeathed the royalties from his music to the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the Charles Ives Prize

The law designating Charles Edward Ives Memorial Composer Laureate as the official Connecticut state composer is found in the Connecticut General Statutes, Title 3, Chapter 32, Section 3-110i.

TITLE 3. STATE ELECTIVE OFFICERS.
CHAPTER 32. SECRETARY.
SECTION 3-110i. State composer.

Sec. 3-110i. State composer. Charles Edward Ives Memorial Composer Laureate. Charles Edward Ives is designated as the composer of the state of Connecticut. There shall be a "Charles Edward Ives Memorial Composer Laureate of the state of Connecticut". The board of directors of the Charles Ives Center for the Arts, in consultation with the panel established under this section, may designate from time to time a composer who was born or is living in Connecticut to serve in the position of composer laureate. There is established a panel that shall meet from time to time to advise said board of directors on the designation of the composer laureate. The panel shall be comprised of eight members, one of whom shall be a representative of the Department of Economic and Community Development, one of whom shall be a representative of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, one of whom shall be a representative of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, one of whom shall be a representative of the Yale University School of Music, one of whom shall be a representative of the Hartt School of Music of The University of Hartford, one of whom shall be a representative of The Charles Ives Society, Inc., one of whom shall be a representative of The University of Connecticut through its music department, and one of whom shall be a representative of the Connecticut State University System through the music department of Western Connecticut State University. Each member of the panel shall be selected by the entity that the member represents.

(P.A. 91-318; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 130.)

History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced Connecticut Commission on the Arts with Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 made a technical change and replaced "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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