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date: 22 August 2019

Wylie, Ruth Shawlocked

  • Janelle Gelfand

Extract

(b Cincinnati, June 24, 1916; d Estes Park, CO, Jan 20, 1989). American composer. She studied at Wayne State University, Detroit (AB 1937, MA 1939) and the Eastman School of Music (PhD 1943), where her teachers included Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. She continued her studies at the Berkshire Music Center with Arthur Honegger, Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland. Her teaching appointments included positions at the University of Missouri (1943–9) and Wayne State University (1949–69); she also served as composer-in-residence at the Huntington Hartford Foundation (1953–4) and the MacDowell Colony (1954, 1956).

Wylie’s music evolved from a tonal style through an increasingly dissonant language to atonality. In the 1960s she became interested in improvisational techniques, composing more than 12 works for the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble, which she founded and directed. She described her piano work Psychogram (1968...

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