Born on September 28, 1913 to David and Rose Fine
March 20, 2000 in Bennington, VT due to vehicular accident
Also Known As:
Influential American female composer who was especially noted for her chamber music. She was also known for performing contemporary piano music written by composers like Aaron Copland and Charles Ives. She married Benjamin Karp, a sculptor, in 1935. Their first daughter, Margaret, was born in 1942.
Type of Compositions:
Her compositions include chamber music, symphonies, choral music, vocal pieces and 2 chamber operas.
In 1918 she began taking piano lessons under the tutelage of her mother. At the age of 5 she entered Chicago Musical College; making her one of the youngest students to receive a scholarship there. From 1924 to 1926, she studied piano with Djane Lavoie-Herz - a former colleague of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. She also studied harmony and composition with Ruth Crawford and counterpoint with Adolf Weidig.
In 1929, at the age of 16, she made her professional debut with her composition "Solo for Oboe" premiering at New York's Carnegie Chamber Hall. She later studied composition with Roger Sessions (!934 to 1942), piano with Abby Whiteside (1937 to 1945) and orchestration with George Szell (1943).
Her composition for the piano titled "Lullaby" was written when she was only 13 years old. Other works include: "Four Pieces for Two Flutes," "Four Polyphonic Pieces for Piano," "Suite in E Flat," "Concertante for Piano and Orchestra," "Capriccio for Oboe and String Trio," "String Quartet," "Duo for Flute and Viola," "The Great Wall of China," "The Race of Life," "Opus 51," "They Too Are Exiles," "Tragic Exodus" and her two chamber operas: "The Women in the Garden" and "Memoirs of Uliana Rooney."
- Vivian Fine became a member of Aaron Copland’s Young Composers’ Group in 1932.
- That same year, she participated in the First Yaddo Festival.
- She co-founded the American Composers Alliance and became its vice-president from 1961 to 1965.
- She taught at Vermont's Bennington College from 1964 to 1987.
- Other schools she taught at include New York University, Juilliard School and the State University of New York at Potsdam.
- From 1953 to 1960, she was artistic director of the Rothschild Foundation.
- She was also a recipient of grants from several foundations including the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation, Alice B. Ditson Foundation and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation.
- In 1979 she received an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. This was followed by a Guggenheim Fellowship award in 1980.
- Her "Drama for Orchestra" was a runner-up for a Pulitzer Prize.
For more information on Vivian Fine, visit her official website.