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Ernst Bacon

Born: 1898

Died: 1990

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Ellen Bacon


Throughout his long career, Ernst Bacon's chief aim as a composer was to express the spirit of America in music as Whitman, Emerson, Melville, and others did in literature. He was deeply immersed in our country's history and folklore, as well as its indigenous music; and the poetry, folk songs, jazz rhythms and geography of America as well as the landscape itself, which he hiked, climbed, and also painted -- all of these elements found their way into his music. Those who influenced Bacon included Carl Sandburg, Thornton Wilder, and Roland Hayes. Bacon's music expresses the common touch and humor of Sandburg; the profound simplicity of Wilder; and the melodic beauty that Roland Hayes expressed so movingly in his singing. As with Schubert, a large body of more than 250 art songs is the heart of an oeuvre that also includes numerous chamber, orchestral, and choral works, as well as descriptive pieces for piano. The Ernst Bacon Society has recently announced a program of grants to underwrite portions of the rental fees for performances of orchestral works by Ernst Bacon. For more information, including grant guidelines and details on how to apply, please click here.
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