1954 Composer VIRGIL THOMSON Autograph Letter Signed from Chelsea Hotel Original

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Seller: Top-Rated Plus Seller timomills (20,030) 100%, Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 133021015155 This is an original 1954 autograph letter signed from composer and critic Virgil Thomson. This letter was sent to a Miss Lindsay and references Thomson’s work "Five Phrases from the Song of Solomon" for soprano voice with percussion. Other works for women’s voices with percussion are also recommended. This letter is written on Virgil Thomson's stationary printed with the "222 West 23rd Street New York 11, N.Y." address of the Chelsea Hotel where he was a resident for more than 50 years. This letter is dated December 14, 1954 and written and boldly hand signed by Virgil Thomson. This letter comes from Dr Kenneth Lindsay who served in WWII as one of the “Monuments Men” charged with securing and protecting art and cultural property and was later a professor of Art History at Harpur College in Endicott, New York. Overall condition is very good. This is the letter only without envelope. Email any questions. Thanks for looking. This following is some historical information on Virgil Thomson from Wikipedia: Virgil Thomson (November 25, 1896 – September 30, 1989) was an American composer and critic. He was instrumental in the development of the "American Sound" in classical music. He has been described as a modernist,[1][2][3][4][5] a neoromantic,[6] a neoclassicist,[7] and a composer of "an Olympian blend of humanity and detachment"[8] whose "expressive voice was always carefully muted" until his late opera Lord Byron which, in contrast to all his previous work, exhibited an emotional content that rises to "moments of real passion".[9] Biography Early years Thomson was born in Kansas City, Missouri. As a child, he befriended Alice Smith, great-granddaughter of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter-day Saint movement. During his youth, he often played the organ in Grace Church, (now Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral), as his piano teacher was the church's organist. After World War I, he entered Harvard University thanks to a loan from Dr. Fred M. Smith, the president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and father of Alice Smith. His tours of Europe with the Harvard Glee Club helped nurture his desire to return there. At Harvard, Thomson focused his studies on the piano work of Erik Satie. He studied in Paris on fellowship for a year, and after graduating, lived in Paris from 1925 until 1940. While studying in Paris he was influenced by several French composers who were members of "Les Six" including: Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, and George Auric.[10][11] He eventually studied with Nadia Boulanger and became a fixture of "Paris in the twenties."[12] In 1925, in Paris, he cemented a relationship with painter Maurice Grosser (1903–1986), who was to become his life partner and frequent collaborator. Later he and Grosser lived at the Hotel Chelsea, where he presided over a largely gay salon that attracted many of the leading figures in music and art and theater, including Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, and many others. He also encouraged many younger composers and literary figures such as Ned Rorem, Lou Harrison, John Cage, Frank O'Hara, and Paul Bowles. Grosser died in 1986, three years before Thomson.[13] His most important friend from this period was Gertrude Stein, who was an artistic collaborator and mentor to him. After meeting Stein in Paris in 1926, Thomson invited her to prepare a libretto for an opera which he hoped to compose. Their collaboration resulted in the premier of the ground breaking composition Four Saints in Three Acts in 1934. At the time, the opera was noted for its form, musical content and the portrayal of European saints by an all-black cast.[14] Years later in 1947, he collaborated once again with Stein in his provocative opera The Mother of Us All which portrays the life of the social reformer Susan B. Anthony.[15] Thomson incorporated musical elements from Baptist hymns, Gregorian chants and popular songs into both scores while demonstrating a restrained use of dissonance.[16] Thompson's contributions to music were not limited to the operatic stage, however. In 1936 he established a collaboration with the film director Pare Lorentz and composed music for the documentary film The Plow That Broke the Plains for the United States government's Resettlement Administration (RA). Thompson incorporated folk melodies and religious musical themes into the film score and subsequently composed an orchestral suite of the same name which was recorded by Leopold Stokowski and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra in 1946 for RCA Victor (# 11-9522,11-9523).[17][18] In 1938 he also formed a collaboration with Lorentz and the operatic singer Thomas Hardie Chalmers on the documentary film The River for the United States government's Farm Security Administration.[19][20] Subsequently, in 1948 he collaborated with the director Robert J. Flaherty on the docufiction film Louisiana Story, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1949.[21] At the time, the award was the only Pulitzer Prize in music granted for a musical composition written exclusively film [22][23] Thomson composed an orchestra suite based upon the score which was premiered by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1949 to widespread critical acclaim.[24] Following the publication of his book, The State of Music, Thompson established himself in New York City as a peer of Aaron Copland, and was also a music critic for the New York Herald-Tribune from 1940 to 1954.[25] His definition of music was famously "that which musicians do,"[26] and his views on music are radical in their insistence on reducing the rarefied aesthetics of music to market activity. He even went so far as to claim that the style a piece was written in could be most effectively understood as a consequence of its income source.[27] Later years In 1969, Thompson composed Metropolitan Museum Fanfare: Portrait Of An American Artist to accompany the Museum's Centennial exhibition "New York Painting And Sculpture: 1940–1970."[28][29] Thomson became a sort of mentor and father figure to a new generation of American tonal composers such as Ned Rorem, Paul Bowles and Leonard Bernstein, a circle united as much by their shared homosexuality as by their similar compositional sensibilities.[30] Women composers were not part of that circle, and one writer has suggested that, as a critic, he selectively omitted mention of their works, or adopted a more passive tone when praising them.[31] Awards and honors Thomson was a recipient of Yale University's Sanford Medal.[32] In 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for the score to the film Louisiana Story.[33] In addition, the Kennedy Center Honors award was bestowed upon Thomson in 1983.[34] In 1988, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Ronald Reagan.[35][36] He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.[37] Death Thomson died on September 30, 1989, in his suite at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, aged 92. He had lived at the Chelsea for close to 50 years Payment Terms Winning bidders will receive an email at the end of the auction explaining the option for paying with Paypal. If you have questions about how to pay for this item please let me know. If you made multiple purchases for a single shipment contact us for combined shipping charges which will normally be less than the amount shown on Paypal invoice. You will receive an email notifying you when your item ships. Buyers outside the USA, please provide a telephone number for customs forms. Shipping Terms Please click on the Shipping & Payment tab above to access the eBay shipping calculator which will give you the options and costs for shipping your item depending on your zip code or country. All items are professionally packed and well protected for shipment. All paper items are shipped in a plastic archival sleeve with rigid backing and marked "DO NOT BEND". 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Condition: Used, Condition: Very Good, Country/Region of Manufacture: United States, Original/Reproduction: Original, Signed by: Virgil Thomson

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