Varèse, Edgard


Varèse, Edgard

▪ French composer
original name  Edgar Varèse  
born Dec. 22, 1883, Paris, France
died Nov. 8, 1965, New York, N.Y., U.S.
 French-born American composer and innovator in 20th-century techniques of sound production.

      Varèse spent his boyhood in Paris, Burgundy, and Turin, Italy. After composing without formal instruction as a youth, he later studied under Vincent d'Indy (Indy, Vincent d'), Albert Roussel (Roussel, Albert), and Charles Widor (Widor, Charles-Marie) and was strongly encouraged by Romain Rolland and Claude Debussy. In 1907 he went to Berlin, where he was influenced by Richard Strauss (Strauss, Richard) and Ferruccio Busoni (Busoni, Ferruccio). In 1915 he immigrated to the United States.

      Varèse's music is dissonant, nonthematic, and rhythmically asymmetric; he conceived of it as bodies of sound in space. After the early 1950s, when he finally gained access to the electronic sound equipment he desired, he concentrated on electronic music.

      Varèse actively promoted performances of works by other 20th-century performers and founded the International Composers' Guild in 1921 and the Pan-American Association of Composers in 1926; these organizations were responsible for performances and premieres of works by Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Carlos Chávez, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives, Maurice Ravel, Wallingford Riegger, Francis Poulenc, Anton von Webern, and others. Varèse also founded the Schola Cantorum of Santa Fe, N.M., in 1937, and the New Chorus (later, Greater New York Chorus) in 1941 to perform music of past eras, including works of Pérotin, Heinrich Schütz, Claudio Monteverdi, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

      Varèse's works include Hyperprism for wind instruments and percussion (1923); Ionisation for percussion, piano, and two sirens (1931); and Density 21.5 for unaccompanied flute (1936). His Déserts (1954) employs tape-recorded sound. In the Poème électronique (1958), written for the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair, the sound was intended to be distributed by 425 loudspeakers.

Additional Reading
Jonathan Bernard, The Music of Edgard Varèse (1987); Louise Varèse, Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary (1972).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Varèse,Edgard — Va·rèse (və rāzʹ, vä rĕzʹ), Edgard. 1883 1965. French born American composer of arrhythmic and atonal works, including early examples of electronic music. * * * …   Universalium

  • Varèse, Edgard (-Victor-Achille-Charles) — born Dec. 22, 1883, Paris, France died Nov. 8, 1965, New York, N.Y., U.S. French born U.S. composer. Forbidden to study music by his father, he secretly continued his studies and entered the Schola Cantorum with the help of his cousin, the… …   Universalium

  • Varèse, Edgard (-Victor-Achille-Charles) — (22 dic. 1883, París, Francia–8 nov. 1965, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Compositor estadounidense de origen francés. Su padre le prohibió estudiar música, pero prosiguió sus estudios en secreto e ingresó en la Schola Cantorum con la ayuda de su… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Edgard Varese — Edgard Varèse Pour les articles homonymes, voir Edgar et Varèse. Edgard Varèse Naissance 22 novembre 1883 Paris …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Edgard Varése — Edgard Varèse Pour les articles homonymes, voir Edgar et Varèse. Edgard Varèse Naissance 22 novembre 1883 Paris …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Varèse — (Edgard) (1885 1965) compositeur français, naturalisé américain en 1926: Intégrales (1925), Ionisation (1931), l Homme et la Machine (1958). Ce novateur ne fut reconnu qu en 1954, grâce à Déserts …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Edgard Varèse — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Edgar et Varèse. Edgard Varèse Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Edgard Varèse — Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse [After he arrived in the USA he commonly used the form Edgar for his first name but reverted to Edgard , not entirely consistently, from the 1940s. Malcolm MacDonald,… …   Wikipedia

  • Varese (homonymie) — Varèse (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Varèse, une ville d Italie ; La Province de Varèse, dont cette ville est la capitale ; Edgard Varèse (1883 1965), un… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Varèse — [və rāz′, vərez′; ] Fr [ vȧ rez′] Edgard [ed′gär; ] Fr [ ed gär′] (born Edgar Victor Achille Charles Varèse) 1883 1965; U.S. composer, born in France …   English World dictionary


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