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Lee Hoiby

Born: 1926

Died: 2011

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders


Lee Hoiby was born in Wisconsin in 1926. He studied piano with Gunnar Johansen and Egon Petri but gave up his intentions to be a concert pianist when he received an invitation to study composition with Gian Carlo Menotti at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Menotti led Hoiby to opera, presenting Hoiby's one-act The Scarf at the first Spoleto (Italy) Festival in 1957. The New York City Opera presented Hoiby's A Month in the Country (libretto by William Ball) in 1964, and his Summer and Smoke (with a libretto by Lanford Wilson based on the Tennessee Williams play) in 1972. Hoiby's opera, The Tempest, based on Shakespeare's last play (libretto adapted by Mark Shulgasser) was premiered at the Des Moines Metro Opera in 1986, and produced by the Dallas Opera in November 1996. Canada’s Pacific Opera Victoria in British Columbia presented a new production in February of 2004.

Mr. Hoiby has been a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Numerous concerts devoted exclusively to his music have taken place, most notably on the American Composer's Series at the Kennedy Center in 1990. G. Schirmer, Inc publishes many of Mr. Hoiby's works, including The Tempest.
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