|Birth: ||May 1, 1895|
|Death: ||Jul. 7, 1968|
Leo Sowerby was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he began to compose at the age of ten. Early recognition came when his violin concerto was premiered in 1913 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1921 he was awarded the Rome Prize (from the American Academy in Rome), the first composer to receive this. In addition he received the 1946 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his cantata, the Canticle of the Sun, written in 1944
In 1927 he became organist-choirmaster at St James's Episcopal Church, Chicago, which was consecrated as a cathedral while he was there (1955). It was during his time there that he did most of his work and gained his international reputation.
In 1962, after his retirement from St James's, he was called to Washington National Cathedral to become the founding director of the College of Church Musicians, a position he held until his death in 1968.
He died in Port Clinton, Ohio, while at Camp Wa-Li-Ro, in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, the summer choir camp where he had taught for many years. Following cremation in Ohio, his ashes were, after some delay, delivered to his partner Ronald P. Stalford for interment in the Columbarium of the Washington National Cathedral.
His substantial output includes over 500 works in every genre but opera and ballet. Early in his career, he was widely known for his orchestral and chamber works, but his later works, done at St James's, Chicago, and Washington Cathedral, are primarily church music for choir
John Sowerby (1859 - 1914)
Florence Gertrude Salkeld Sowerby (1871 - 1899)
Leo Salkeld Sowerby (1895 - 1968)
Baby Sowerby (1899 - 1899)*
Washington National Cathedral
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Created by: Haworth P. Bromley
Record added: Feb 23, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34132098