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date: 22 November 2019

League of Composerslocked

  • Rita H. Mead
  • , revised by Lincoln Ballard


An organization founded in 1923 in New York by International Composers’ Guild members who seceded over ideological disputes with its executive director Edgard Varése. Those who broke away included Claire R. Reis (the League’s president from 1923–48) and the American composers Leo Ornstein, Emerson Whithorne, and Lazare Saminsky, among others. The League of Composers promoted the composition, performance, and international exchange of contemporary music. Its prominence flourished through its ability to secure patronage and engage such musical luminaries as Serge Koussevitzky and Leopold Stokowski. The organization presented a variety of events, including chamber music concerts, lecture recitals, stage productions, and radio broadcasts. Its neo-classical orientation reflected the training that many of its members (Copland, Piston, Thompson) had received in Paris from Nadia Boulanger, although League members also embraced American vernacular styles, especially jazz.

Before it merged with the US branch of the International society for contemporary music (ISCM) in ...

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