|Born||March 11, 1897|
Menlo Park, California
|Died||December 10, 1965 (aged 68)|
Shady, New York
|Occupation||Composer, musical theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario|
Henry Cowell (March 11, 1897 – December 10, 1965) was an American composer, musical theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario. Events 1425 BC - Thutmose III, Pharaoh of Egypt, dies (according to the Low Chronology of the 18th Dynasty Year 1897 ( MDCCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common Menlo Park is an affluent City in San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California Events 1041 - Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V Year 1965 ( MCMLXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. Shady is a hamlet in Ulster County, New York, United States. It is part of the town of Woodstock and lies on New York State Route 212 The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A composer (literally meaning 'one who puts together' is a person who creates Music, usually in the medium of notation, for Interpretation and Performance Music theory is the field of study that deals with the Mechanics of music and how Music works A pianist (/'piənɪst/ is a Musician who plays the Piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces play with an ensemble or Orchestra Impresario, from the Italian impresa an enterprise or undertaking is a traditional term still very much in use in the Entertainment industry for Events 1425 BC - Thutmose III, Pharaoh of Egypt, dies (according to the Low Chronology of the 18th Dynasty Year 1897 ( MDCCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common Events 1041 - Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V Year 1965 ( MCMLXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A composer (literally meaning 'one who puts together' is a person who creates Music, usually in the medium of notation, for Interpretation and Performance Music theory is the field of study that deals with the Mechanics of music and how Music works A pianist (/'piənɪst/ is a Musician who plays the Piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces play with an ensemble or Orchestra Impresario, from the Italian impresa an enterprise or undertaking is a traditional term still very much in use in the Entertainment industry for His contribution to the world of music was summed up by Virgil Thomson, writing in the early 1950s:
Henry Cowell's music covers a wider range in both expression and technique than that of any other living composer. For the American author with a similar name see Virgil Thompson (author Virgil Thomson ( November 25, 1896 - September His experiments begun three decades ago in rhythm, in harmony, and in instrumental sonorities were considered then by many to be wild. Today they are the Bible of the young and still, to the conservatives, "advanced. ". . . No other composer of our time has produced a body of works so radical and so normal, so penetrating and so comprehensive. Add to this massive production his long and influential career as a pedagogue, and Henry Cowell's achievement becomes impressive indeed. There is no other quite like it. To be both fecund and right is given to few. 
Born in rural Menlo Park, California, to two bohemian writers—his father was an Irish immigrant and his mother, a former schoolteacher, had relocated from Iowa—Cowell demonstrated precocious musical talent and began playing the violin at the age of five. Menlo Park is an affluent City in San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California The term bohemian, of French origin was first used in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the untraditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished Artists After his parents' divorce in 1903, he was raised by his mother, Clarissa Dixon, author of the early feminist novel Janet and Her Dear Phebe. His father, with whom he maintained contact, introduced him to the Irish music that would be a touchstone for Cowell throughout his career. Irish Music is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres on the entire island of Ireland, North and South of the border While receiving no formal musical education (and little schooling of any kind beyond his mother's home tutelage), he began to compose in his mid-teens.
By the summer of 1914, Cowell was writing truly individualistic works, including the insistently repetitive Anger Dance (originally Mad Dance).  That fall, the largely self-taught Cowell was admitted to the University of California, Berkeley, as a protégé of Charles Seeger. The University of California Berkeley (also referred to as Cal, Berkeley and UC Berkeley) is a major research university located in Berkeley Charles (Louis Seeger Jr ( December 14, 1886, Mexico City - February 7, 1979, Bridgewater Connecticut) was a Musicologist There he studied harmony and other subjects under Seeger and Edward Griffith Stricklen and counterpoint under Wallace Sabin.  After two years at Berkeley, Cowell pursued further studies in New York where he encountered Leo Ornstein, the radically "futurist" composer-pianist. Leo Ornstein (born Лев Орнштейн, Lev Ornshteyn) (ca Still a teenager, Cowell wrote the piano piece Dynamic Motion (1916), his first important work to explore the possibilities of the tone cluster ( ). A tone cluster is a musical chord comprising at least three consecutive tones in a scale. It requires the performer to use both forearms to play massive secundal chords and calls for keys to be held down without sounding to extend and intensify its dissonant cluster overtones. In Music or Music theory, secundal is the quality of a chord made from seconds and anything related to things constructed from seconds such This article describes musical chords in traditional Western styles An overtone is a natural resonance or vibration frequency of a system 
Cowell soon returned to California, where he had become involved with a theosophical community, Halcyon, led by the Irish poet John Varian, who fueled Cowell's interest in Irish folk culture and mythology. This article is about the philosophy introduced by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky Halcyon California is an Unincorporated community of approximately 125 acres (0 The culture of the people living on the island of Ireland is far from monolithic The Mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved shorn of its religious meanings In 1917, Cowell wrote the music for Varian's stage production The Building of Banba; the prelude he composed, The Tides of Manaunaun, with its rich, evocative clusters, would become Cowell's most famous and widely performed work. The Tides of Manaunaun is a short Piano piece by American composer Henry Cowell (1897–1965  In later years, Cowell would claim that the piece had been composed around 1912 (and Dynamic Motion in 1914), in an evident attempt to make his musical innovations appear even more precocious than they already were. 
Beginning in the early 1920s, Cowell toured widely in North America and Europe as a pianist, playing his own experimental works, seminal explorations of atonality, polytonality, polyrhythms, and non-Western modes. Atonality in its broadest sense describes Music that lacks a tonal center, or key. The Musical use of more than one key simultaneously is polytonality. In Music, a scale is an ordered series of Musical intervals which along with the key or tonic, define the pitches However mode He made such an impression with his tone cluster technique that Béla Bartók requested his permission to adopt it. Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25 1881&ndashSeptember 26 1945 was a Hungarian Composer and Pianist, considered to be one of the greatest Another novel method advanced by Cowell, in pieces such as Aeolian Harp (ca. 1923), was what he dubbed "string piano"—rather than using the keys to play, the pianist reaches inside the instrument and plucks, sweeps, and otherwise manipulates the strings directly. String piano is a term coined by American composer-theorist Henry Cowell (1897–1965 to collectively describe those pianistic Extended techniques in which sound is Cowell's endeavors with string piano techniques were the primary inspiration for John Cage's development of the prepared piano. WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> John Milton Cage Jr A prepared piano is a Piano which has had its sound altered by placing objects (preparations between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers  In early chamber music pieces, such as Quartet Romantic (1915–17) and Quartet Euphometric (1916–19 ), Cowell pioneered a compositional approach he called "rhythm-harmony": "Both quartets are polyphonic, and each melodic strand has its own rhythm," he explained. In Music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent Melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice ( Monophony "Even the canon in the first movement of the Romantic has different note-lengths for each voice. In Music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a Melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration (e "
In 1919, Cowell had begun writing New Musical Resources, which would finally be published after extensive revision in 1930. Focusing on the variety of innovative rhythmic and harmonic concepts he used in his compositions (and others that were still entirely speculative), it would have a powerful effect on the American musical avant-garde for decades after. Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμός - rhythmos, "any measured flow or movement symmetry" is the variation of the length and accentuation of Experimental music is a term introduced by composer John Cage in 1955 Conlon Nancarrow, for instance, would refer to it years later as having "the most influence of anything I've ever read in music. Conlon Nancarrow (born October 27 1912 &ndash August 10 1997) was a U "
Cowell's interest in harmonic rhythm, as discussed in New Musical Resources, led him in 1930 to commission Léon Theremin to invent the Rhythmicon, or Polyrhythmophone, a transposable keyboard instrument capable of playing notes in periodic rhythms proportional to the overtone series of a chosen fundamental pitch. In Music theory, harmonic rhythm, also known as harmonic tempo is the rate at which the chords change Léon Theremin (born Lev Sergeyevich Termen, Лев Сергеевич Термен ( August 15 1896 Julian calendar = 1896-08-27 The Rhythmicon —also known as the Polyrhythmophone —was the world's first electronic Drum machine (or "rhythm machine" the original term for devices of In Music transposition refers to the process of moving a collection of notes ( pitches) up or down in pitch by a constant interval. See Harmonic series (mathematics for the (related mathematical concept The fundamental tone, often referred to simply as the fundamental and abbreviated fo, is the lowest frequency in a harmonic series. Pitch represents the perceived Fundamental frequency of a sound The world's first electronic rhythm machine, with a photoreceptor-based sound production system proposed by Cowell (not a theremin-like system, as some sources incorrectly state), it could produce up to sixteen different rhythmic patterns simultaneously, complete with optional syncopation. For the early "drum machine" computers that used a rotating cylinder as their main memory see Drum memory A drum machine is an A rhythmic unit is a Durational pattern which occupies a period of time equivalent to a pulse or pulses on an underlying Metric level, as opposed to a In Music, syncopation includes a variety of Rhythms which are in some way unexpected in that they deviate from the strict succession of regularly spaced Cowell wrote several original compositions for the instrument, including an orchestrated concerto, and Theremin built two more models. Soon, however, the Rhythmicon would be virtually forgotten, remaining so until the 1960s, when progressive pop music producer Joe Meek experimented with its rhythmic concept. Joe Meek (born Robert George Meek; 5 April 1929 — 3 February 1967 in London) was a pioneering English Record producer and Songwriter
Cowell pursued a radical compositional approach through the mid-1930s, with solo piano pieces remaining at the heart of his output—important works from this era include The Banshee (1925), requiring numerous playing methods such as pizzicato and longitudinal sweeping and scraping of the strings ( ), and the manic, cluster-filled Tiger (1930), inspired by William Blake's famous poem. Pizzicato (ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːtoʊ is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a String instrument. William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 was an English poet, painter, and Printmaker. " The Tyger " is a famous poem by the English poet William Blake.  Much of Cowell's public reputation continued to be based on his trademark pianistic technique: a critic for the San Francisco News, writing in 1932, referred to Cowell's "famous 'tone clusters,' probably the most startling and original contribution any American has yet contributed to the field of music. " A prolific composer of songs (he would write over 180 during his career), Cowell returned in 1930–31 to Aeolian Harp, adapting it as the accompaniment to a vocal setting of a poem by his father, How Old Is Song? He built on his substantial oeuvre of chamber music, with pieces such as the Adagio for Cello and Thunder Stick (1924) that explored unusual instrumentation and others that were even more progressive: Six Casual Developments (1933), for clarinet and piano, sounds like something Jimmy Giuffre would compose thirty years later. James Peter Giuffre ( April 26, 1921 &ndash April 24, 2008) was an American Jazz composer arranger and Saxophone His Ostinato Pianissimo (1934) placed him in the vanguard of those writing original scores for percussion ensemble. He created forceful large-ensemble pieces during this period as well, such as the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1928)—with its three movements, "Polyharmony," "Tone Cluster," and "Counter Rhythm" ( )—and the Sinfonietta (1928), whose scherzo Anton Webern conducted in Vienna. A scherzo (plural scherzi) is a piece of Music or a movement in a certain style that forms part of a larger piece such as a Symphony. WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> Anton Webern (December 3 1883 &ndash September 15 1945 was an Austrian Composer  In the early 1930s, Cowell began to delve seriously into aleatoric procedures, creating opportunities for performers to determine primary elements of a score's realization. Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning " Dice " is Music  One of his major chamber pieces, the Mosaic Quartet (String Quartet No. 3) (1935), is scored as a collection of five movements with no preordained sequence.
Cowell was the central figure in a circle of avant-garde composers that included his good friends Carl Ruggles and Dane Rudhyar, as well as Leo Ornstein, John Becker, Colin McPhee, French expatriate Edgard Varèse, and Ruth Crawford, whom he convinced Charles Seeger to take on as a student (Crawford and Seeger would eventually marry). Charles "Carl" Sprague Ruggles ( March 11, 1876 – October 24, 1971) was an American Composer part of the group Dane Rudhyar ( March 23, 1895, in Paris – September 13, 1985, in San Francisco) born Daniel Chennevière Colin McPhee ( February 15, 1900, in Montreal or Toronto – January 7, 1964, in Los Angeles) was a WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse Ruth Crawford Seeger ( 3 July 1901 - 18 November 1953) born Ruth Porter Crawford was a Modernist Composer and an American Cowell and his circle were sometimes referred to as "ultra-modernists," a label whose definition is flexible and origin unclear (it has also been applied to a few composers outside the immediate circle, such as George Antheil, and to some of its disciples, such as Nancarrow); Virgil Thomson styled them the "rhythmic research fellows. George Antheil ( July 8, 1900, Trenton New Jersey – February 12, 1959, New York City) was an American " In 1925, Cowell organized the New Music Society, one of whose primary activities was the staging of concerts of their works along with those of artistic allies such as Wallingford Riegger and Arnold Schoenberg, who would later ask Cowell to play for his composition class during one of his European tours. Wallingford Constantine Riegger ( April 29 1885 - April 2 1961) was a prolific American music composer well known for orchestral and Arnold Schoenberg ( pronounced ˈʃøːnbɛrk (13 September 1874 &ndash 13 July 1951 was an Austrian and later American Composer, associated with In 1927 Cowell founded the periodical New Music, which would publish many significant new scores under his editorship, both by the ultra-modernists and many others, including Ernst Bacon, Otto Luening, Paul Bowles, and Aaron Copland. Otto Luening (born June 15, 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; died September 2, 1996 in New York City) was a German Paul Frederic Bowles ( December 30, 1910 – November 18, 1999) was an American Expatriate Composer, Author, Aaron Copland (November 14 1900 &ndash December 2 1990 was an American Composer of concert and film music as well as an accomplished Pianist. Before the publication of the first issue, he solicited contributions from a then-obscure composer who would become one of his closest friends, Charles Ives. Charles Edward Ives (October 20 1874 – May 19 1954 was an American Composer of modernist Classical music. Major scores by Ives, including the Comedy from the Fourth Symphony, Fourth of July, 34 Songs, and 19 Songs, would receive their first publication in New Music; in turn, Ives would provide financial support to a number of Cowell's projects (including, years later, New Music itself). Many of the scores published in Cowell's journal were made even more widely available as performances of them were issued by the record label he established in 1934, New Music Recordings.
The ultra-modernist movement had expanded its reach in 1928, when Cowell led a group that included Ruggles, Varèse, his fellow expatriate Carlos Salzedo, American composer Emerson Whithorne, and Mexican composer Carlos Chávez in founding the Pan-American Association of Composers, dedicated to promoting composers from around the Western Hemisphere and creating a community among them that would transcend national lines. Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez y Ramírez ( June 13, 1899 &ndash August 2, 1978) was a Mexican Composer, conductor Its inaugural concert, held in New York City in March 1929, featured exclusively Latin American music, including works by Chávez, Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, Cuban composer Alejandro García Caturla, and the French-born Cuban Amadeo Roldán. Heitor Villa-Lobos (March 5 1887 &ndash November 17 1959 was a Brazilian Composer, possibly the best-known classical composer born in South America Alejandro García Caturla (1906-1940 was a Cuban composer of Contemporary classical music. Amadeo Roldán y Gardes ( June 12, 1900, in Paris – March 7, 1939, in Havana) was a Cuban Composer Its next concert, in April 1930, focused on the U. S. ultra-modernists, with works by Cowell, Crawford, Ives, Rudhyar, and others such as Antheil, Henry Brant, and Vivian Fine. Henry Brant ( September 15, 1913 &ndash April 26, 2008) was a California -based composer of Art music based on Spatialization Vivian Fine ( Chicago, 28 September, 1913 - Bennington Vermont, 20 March, 2000) was an American Composer  Over the next four years, Nicolas Slonimsky conducted concerts sponsored by the association in New York, across Europe, and, in 1933, Cuba. Nicolas Slonimsky (b &ndash d December 25, 1995) was a Russian American composer conductor musician Music critic lexicographer  Cowell himself had performed there in 1930 and met with Caturla, whom he was publishing in New Music.  Cowell would continue to work on both his behalf and Roldán's, whose Rítmica No. 5 (1930) was the first piece of Western classical music written specifically for percussion ensemble.  During this era, Cowell also spread the ultra-modernists' experimental creed as a highly regarded teacher of composition and theory—among his many students were George Gershwin, Lou Harrison, who said he thought of Cowell as "the mentor of mentors," and John Cage, who proclaimed Cowell "the open sesame for new music in America. George Gershwin (September 26 1898 &ndash July 11 1937 was an American Composer. Lou Silver Harrison ( May 14, 1917 &ndash February 2, 2003) was an American "
Encouragement of the music of Caturla and Roldán, with their proudly African-based rhythms, and of Chávez, whose work often involved instruments and themes of Mexico's indigenous peoples, was natural for Cowell. For indigenous peoples in the United States other than Hawaii and Alaska see also Native Americans in the United States. Growing up on the West Coast, he had been exposed to a great deal of what is now known as "world music"; along with Irish airs and dances, he encountered music from China, Japan, and Tahiti. The term world music includes Traditional music (sometimes called Folk music or roots music of any culture that are created and played by indigenous musicians These early experiences helped form his unusually eclectic musical outlook, exemplified by his famous statement "I want to live in the whole world of music. " He went on to investigate Indian classical music and, in the late 1920s, began teaching a course, "Music of the World's Peoples," at the New School for Social Research in New York and elsewhere—Harrison's tutelage under Cowell would begin when he enrolled in a version of the course in San Francisco. The origins of Indian classical music can be found from the oldest of Scriptures part of the Hindu tradition the Vedas. This is about the university in New York; for other uses see New School (disambiguation. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city In 1931 a Guggenheim fellowship enabled Cowell to go to Berlin to study comparative musicology (the predecessor to ethnomusicology) with Erich von Hornbostel. Guggenheim Fellowships are American grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who This article is about the concept For the society and academic journal see Society for Ethnomusicology. Erich Moritz von Hornbostel ( February 25, 1877 - November 28, 1935) was an Austrian Ethnomusicologist and scholar of He studied Carnatic theory and gamelan, as well, with leading instructors from South India (P. Carnatic music (also spelled Karnatak music or Karnatik music, and originally called Karṇāṭaka sangīta or Karṇāṭaka sangītam in India A gamelan is a musical ensemble of Indonesia typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones xylophones drums and gongs bamboo flutes bowed and Sambamoorthy), Java (Raden Mas Jodjhana), and Bali (Ramaleislan). 
Cowell, who was bisexual, was arrested and convicted on a "morals" charge in 1936. Sidney Robertson Cowell (born Sidney William Hawkins in San Francisco, California, United States, 1903 d Bisexuality refers to sexual behavior with or attraction to people of both sexes or to a bisexual orientation Sentenced to a decade-and-a-half incarceration, he would spend the next four years in San Quentin State Prison. San Quentin State Prison is located on 432 acres (17 km² on Point San Quentin in Marin County, California, United States, north of San Francisco  There he taught fellow inmates, directed the prison band, and continued to write music at his customary prolific pace, producing around sixty compositions, including two major pieces for percussion ensemble: the Oriental-toned Pulse (1939) and the memorably sepulchral Return (1939). He also continued his experiments in aleatory: For all three movements of the Amerind Suite (1939), he wrote five versions, each more difficult than the last. Interpreters of the piece are invited to simultaneously perform two or even three versions of the same movement on multiple pianos. In the Ritournelle (Larghetto and Trio) (1939) for the dance piece Marriage at the Eiffel Tower, performing in Seattle, he explored what he called "elastic" form. The twenty-four measures of the Larghetto and the eight of the Trio are each modular; though Cowell offers some suggestions, any hypothetically may be included or not and played once or repeatedly, allowing the piece to stretch or contract at the performers' will—the practical goal being to give a choreographer freedom to adjust the length and character of a dance piece without the usual constraints imposed by a prewritten musical composition. 
Cowell had contributed to the Eiffel Tower project at the behest of Cage, who was not alone in lending support to his friend and former teacher. Cowell's cause had been taken up by composers and musicians around the country, although a few, including Ives, broke contact with him. Cowell was eventually paroled in 1940; he relocated to the East Coast and the following year married Sidney Hawkins Robertson (1903–1995, married name Sidney Robertson Cowell), a prominent folk-music scholar who had been instrumental in winning his freedom. Sidney Robertson Cowell (born Sidney William Hawkins in San Francisco, California, United States, 1903 d Cowell was granted a pardon in 1942.
Despite the pardon—which allowed him to work at the Office of War Information, creating radio programs for broadcast overseas—arrest, incarceration, and attendant notoriety had a devastating effect on Cowell. Conlon Nancarrow, on meeting him for the first time in 1947, reported, "The impression I got was that he was a terrified person, with a feeling that 'they're going to get him. Conlon Nancarrow (born October 27 1912 &ndash August 10 1997) was a U '" The experience took a lasting toll on his music: Cowell's compositional output became strikingly more conservative soon after his release from San Quentin, with simpler rhythms and a more traditional harmonic language. Many of his later works are based on American folk music, such as the series of eighteen Hymn and Fuguing Tunes (1943–64); folk music had certainly played a role in a number of Cowell's prewar compositions, but the provocative transformations that had been his signature were now largely abandoned. Old-time music is a form of North American Folk music, with roots in the Folk musics of many countries including England, Scotland, The fuguing tune is a variety of Anglo-American vernacular choral music And, as Nancarrow observed, there were other consequences to Cowell's imprisonment: "Of course, after that, politically, he kept his mouth completely shut. He had been radical politically, too, before. "
No longer an artistic radical, Cowell nonetheless retained a progressive bent and continued to be a leader (along with Harrison and McPhee) in the incorporation of non-Western musical idioms, as in the Japanese-inflected Ongaku (1957), Symphony No. 13, "Madras" (1956–58) (which had its premiere in the eponymous city), and Homage to Iran (1959). His most compelling, poignant songs date from this era, including Music I Heard (to a poem by Conrad Aiken; 1961) and Firelight and Lamp (to a poem by Gene Baro; 1962). Conrad Potter Aiken (August 5 1889 &ndash August 17 1973 was a Pulitzer Prize -winning American novelist and poet born in Savannah Georgia, whose work includes Despite the break in their friendship, Cowell, in collaboration with his wife, wrote the first major study of Ives's music and provided crucial support to Harrison as his former pupil championed the Ives rediscovery. Cowell resumed teaching—Burt Bacharach, J. H. Kwabena Nketia, and Irwin Swack were among his postwar students—and served as a consultant to Folkways Records for over a decade beginning in the early 1950s, writing liner notes and editing such collections as Music of the World's Peoples (1951–61) (he also hosted a radio program of the same name) and Primitive Music of the World (1962). Burt Bacharach (ˈbækəræk born May 12, 1928) is an American Pianist and Composer. Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia (b Mampong, Sekyere West District, Ashanti Region, Ghana, June 22, 1921) is a Ghanaian Irwin Swack (b Ohio, November 8, 1916; d January 2, 2006) was an American composer of Contemporary classical music Folkways Records is a Record label that documents folk and world music In 1963 he recorded searching, vivid performances of twenty of his seminal piano pieces for a Folkways album. Perhaps liberated by the passage of time and his own seniority, in his final years Cowell again produced a number of impressively individualistic works, such as Thesis (Symphony No. 15; 1960) and 26 Simultaneous Mosaics (1963).
Cowell was elected to the American Institute of Arts and Letters in 1951. The American Academy of Arts and Letters is a 250-member organization whose goal is to "foster assist and sustain excellence" in American Literature, He died in 1965 in Shady, New York, after a series of illnesses. Shady is a hamlet in Ulster County, New York, United States. It is part of the town of Woodstock and lies on New York State Route 212
Note: Correct dating and orthography of titles throughout is based on the standard musicography, The Music of Henry Cowell: A Descriptive Catalogue, by William Lichtenwanger (Brooklyn, N. Y. : Brooklyn College Institute for Studies in American Music, 1986).