Henry Cowell by Joel Sachs
A Man Made of Music

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Joel Sachs offers the first complete biography of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century American music. Henry Cowell, a major musical innovator of the first half of the century, left a rich body of compositions spanning a wide range of styles. But as Sachs shows, Cowell's legacy extends far beyond his music. He worked tirelessly to create organizations such as the highly influential New Music Quarterly, New Music Recordings, and the Pan-American Association of Composers, through which great talents like Ruth Crawford Seeger and Charles Ives first became known in the US and abroad. As one of the first Western advocates for World Music, he used lectures, articles, and recordings to bring other musical cultures to myriad listeners and students including John Cage and Lou Harrison, who attributed their life work to Cowell's influence. Finally, Sachs describes the tragedy of Cowell's life--his guilty plea on a morals charge, which even the prosecutor felt was trivial, but brought him a sentence of 15 years in San Quentin, of which he served four.

About Joel Sachs

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Joel Sachs is Professor of Music History, Chamber Music, and New Music Performance at The Juilliard School, where he conducts the New Juilliard Ensemble.
Published June 12, 2012 by Oxford University Press. 619 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Henry Cowell

The New Yorker

Joe Sachs’s deep knowledge of Henry Cowell’s music, and his sensitive insight into the composer’s odd but enduring marriage, enlivens a portrait of a man who, as much as Charles Ives or Louis Armstrong, made modern American music a reality.

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Henry Cowell: A Man Made of M...

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