Composer, Conductor, Educator. His Symphony No. 4 ("Requiem"), written in memory of his father, won the 1944 Pulitzer Prize. Although he was a vigorous champion of American composers there is little American influence in his own music, which was conservative in style and romantic in spirit. Hanson's other major compositions include the Symphony No. 1 ("Nordic," 1923), Symphony No. 2 ("Romantic," 1930), Symphony No. 3 (1937), Symphony No. 5 ("Sinfonia Sacra," 1955), the cantatas "The Lament for Beowulf" (1925) and "Hymn to the Pioneers" (1938), and an opera, "Merry Mount" (1934). Hanson was born in Wahoo, Nebraska, of Swedish parents, and studied at the Institute of Musical Art in New York City and at Northwestern University. From 1924 to 1964 he was director of the Eastman School in Rochester, New York, and in 1925 founded the annual American Composers' Concerts, which brought much new music to the public. As conductor of the Eastman Rochester Orchestra, Hanson made many recordings and took the group on a world tour in 1961.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards