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Richard Peaslee

Born: 1930

Died: 2016

Nationality: American

Publisher: AMP

Richard Peaslee was born in New York City and received his undergraduate degree in Music Composition from Yale University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He received both a diploma and a Master of Science degree from The Juilliard School, in addition to studying privately with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and William Russo in New York and London. His concert works have been widely performed by orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists, most notably the Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Buffalo Symphony Orchestras. His concerto for trombone, Arrows of Time, was premiered by the Seattle Symphony. Joseph Alessi and the United States Army Band premiered its version for concert band in 2000.

In jazz, his numerous works for big band have been performed by William Russo's London Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Stan Kenton and Ted Heath Orchestras and by soloists including Gerry Mulligan (for whom he wrote the Mulligan Concerto, which premiered as the Chicago Concerto).

Peaslee wrote extensively for the theater in New York, London, and Paris. In addition to numerous scores for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theaters, he wrote the music for the Peter Brook/Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Marat/Sade, A Midsummers Night's Dream, US, and Antony and Cleopatra; for Peter Hall and the National Theatre, he wrote the music for Animal Farm; and for Terry Hands and the RSC, Tamburlaine the Great. For Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival he created scores for Richard III, Henry IV, Troilus and Cressida, and Antigone; with Martha Clarke and Music Theatre Group, he wrote music for The Garden of Earthly Delights, Vienna Lusthaus, The Hunger Artist, and — also with Clarke — for the Joseph Papp production of Miracolo d'Amore. Among his Broadway credits are scores for Indians, Teibele and Her Demon, Frankenstein, and Boccaccio. His musicals for family audiences include The Snow Queen (NYS Theatre Institute), The Children's Crusade, Tanglewood Tales, and an opera, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Lincoln Center Institute, American Opera Projects commissions).

In dance, Peaslee composed the score for Touch, commissioned and performed by the New York City Ballet with choreography by David Parsons, and The Four Humours, commissioned and performed by Pilobolus. His music for Elisa Monte's Feu Follet, A Cajun Tale toured Europe and America. Peaslee also worked with choreographers Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, Kathryn Posin, Grethe Holby, and Elizabeth Keen.

His scores for film and television include the Joseph Campbell/Bill Moyer series The Power of Myth (nominated for an Emmy), Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life (American Playhouse), and Time/Life's Wild, Wild World of Animals.

Awards include The National Academy of Arts and Letters Marc Blitzstein Award; Obie and Villager Awards; as well as NEA and NYFA Fellowships.

Peaslee served on the faculty of the Lincoln Center Institute and New York University's Music Theatre Program. His music is published by Associated Music Publishers and other publishers. It was recorded on EMI, Columbia, Elektra, and Musical Heritage Society, among others.
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