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Obituary for Composer Norman Dello Joio

Norman Dello Joio

Norman Dello Joio, Prolific and Popular Composer, Is Dead at 95

Norman Dello Joio, a composer who achieved wide popularity in the mid-20th century with a proliferation of essentially tonal, lyrical works, died on Thursday at his home in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 95.

By Daniel J. Wakin
New York Times

Mr. Dello Joio wrote dozens of pieces each for chorus, orchestra, solo voice, chamber groups and piano, as well as scores for television and three operas. Church music, the popular tunes of the jazz age and 19th-century Italian opera were all influences on his style, which could be both austere and colorful.

In defining his musical approach, Mr. Dello Joio cited the advice of a teacher, the composer Paul Hindemith, that he should never forget that his music was "lyrical by nature."

That meant, "Don't sacrifice necessarily to a system," Mr. Dello Joio said on his Web site. "If it's valid, and it's good, put it down in your mind. Don't say, 'I have to do this because the system tells me to.' No, that's a mistake." He said he took the advice to heart, and jokingly called himself an "arch-conservative."

Read more about this at the New York Times website: