Vincent Persichetti: Grazioso, Grit, and Gold is the first critical biography of this esteemed American composer, bringing together thorough scholarship by Andrea Olmstead and contributions by prominent performers. Olmstead weaves a captivating narrative of the composer from his early life and musical training, starting with his early career in Philadelphia during the 1920s and ’30s and through his teaching at Juilliard and death in 1987. The book sheds light on Persichetti’s personal and professional life, the multiple forces that shaped his musical development, and his far-reaching influence on the modern American composition scene.
In addition to Olmstead’s biographical and analytical treatment of the composer, notable performers bring fresh insights to individual pieces. Among the contributors are C. Matthew Balensuela (solo wind Parables), Geoffrey Burleson (Concerto for Piano, Four Hands, and Piano Quintet), Mirian Conti (Poems and Frog Dance for piano), Andrew Mast (Divertimento for wind ensemble), and Larry Thomas Bell (Harmonium song cycle, Piano Concerto, and Ninth Symphony).
Scholars, performers, and all lovers of Persichetti’s music will find Olmstead’s book compelling as it enshrines Persichetti’s legacy as a composer, teacher, and pianist. Those seeking to perform, teach, or simply enjoy Persichetti’s music will find this an invaluable resource.