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    Van de Vate, Nancy (30th December 1930-Present)

    She is a composer born in Plainfield, New Jersey who took piano studies under scholarship at the Eastman School of Music followed by the Wellesley College in 1952.  She then went on to take compositional studies for her Master of Music at the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1958 and 10 years later was awarded her doctorate by Florida State University.  In 1972 she went on to take even further studies in electronic music studies at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College.


    In 1964 she wrote her Sonata for Viola and Piano and a further chamber work in 1969 was her 6 Etudes for Solo Viola.


    In 1975 she wrote her Suite for Solo Viola and that same year she established the International League of Women’s Composers.  The following year she published her Music for Viola, Percussion and Piano.


    In the early 1980s she lived in Indonesia and in 1984 was commissioned and premiered by the Jakarta Symphony to write her “Gema Jawa” (Echoes of Jawa).


    In 1985 she relocated to Vienna in Austria and became the co-founder, with her late husband Clyde Smith, of the Vienna Modern Masters CD Company.


    1987 saw her orchestral work Chernobyl being released on CD and the piece has been performed by orchestras throughout Europe, by the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra and at the Chatauqua Festival.  In 2006 it was specially performed by the Yale Symphony Orchestra on the 20th anniversary of the accident.


    In 1991 her Concerto for Viola and Orchestra was written and in 1994 her chamber opera In the Shadow of the Glen was completed.


    In 1995 the International League of Women’s Composers joined up with another two organisations that champion women’s music and became the International Alliance for Women in Music.  That same year saw the completion of the opera Nemo: Jenseits von Vulkania and the premiere of her children’s musical Der Herrscher und das Madchen in Vienna which was later put on CD in 1998.


    Also in 1998 she completed the chamber opera The Death of the Hired Man which was recorded at Illinois State University and the German version premiered in Vienna as Der Tod des Tagelohners in 1999.


    The first decade of the new millennium saw her opera All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Western Nichts Neues) having it’s 2003 premier performed to much acclaim in Osnabruck, Germany. The same year it was performed by the New York City Opera.


    In 2004 the authors Laurdella Foulkes-Levy and Burt Levy published the biographical work Journeys Through the Life and Music of Nancy Van de Vate.


    Two years later in 2005 she was commissioned by the University of Mississippi to write Brass Quintet No. 2: Variations on the “Streets” of Laredo” for a festival performance and later received a further commission for Vienna Mozart Year 2006 to write her String Quartet No. 2.  She was also a winner of the 2005 National Opera Association chamber opera composition for Where the Cross is Made, which is based on the play of the same name by Eugene O’Neill.


    In 2007 her Suite for Solo Viola and String Quartet entitled A Long Road Travelled appeared.


    There are several recordings of her works with a few of these including Cocaine Lil by The Belcanto Ensemble, Six Etudes for Solo Saxophone by Bill Perconti, A Night in the Royal Ontario Museum by Michelle Vought, Hamlet, an Opera in Five Acts, A Peacock Southeast Flew and Nancy Van de Vate, Chamber Music..


    In the field of musical education she has been on the faculties of the Jakarta Conservatory and eleven universities and colleges within the United States.  She has also held master classes in China and worked with musicians in Tibet.


    She was given the position of Composer-in-Residence by the Institute for European Studies that is based in Vienna in 2010.  She also holds a position on the faculty there as Professor of Composition.


    To date she has composed in excess of 130 works which include operas, musical theatre works, orchestral and chamber works and solo pieces which have been performed by many international orchestras and at many international music festivals.



    1. http://www.nancy-vandevate.at/
    2. http://www.mymusicbase.ru/PPB/ppb12/Bio_1233.htm
    3. http://www.sai-national.org/home/ComposersBureau/VandeVateNancy/tabid/479/Default.aspx
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Van_de_Vate
    5. http://operamusicbroadcast.com/2010/10/25/nancy-van-de-vate-named-as-composer-in-residence/
    6. http://www.classical-composers.org/comp/vate
    7. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/nancy-van-de-vate-mn0002178823






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