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Louis Gesensway (Composer, Arranger)

Born: February 19, 1906 - Dvinsk, Latvia
Died: March 13, 1976 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

The Latvian-born American composer and violinist, Louis Gesensway, was born in Dvinsk, Latvia, and grew up in Toronto, Ontario. He played in the Academy String Quartet and he studied violin at the Toronto Conservatory, Now the Royal Conservatory of Music, (where he was instrumental in organizing the present Toronto Symphony Orchestra) and the Curtis Institute of music in Philadelphia, he joined the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 19 in 1926. an association which was to last 45 years.

Following studies in Budapest with the eminent Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, Louis Gesensway began a period of intensive research into the color properties of existing tonalities, and evolved a system of composition he called "Color Harmony." The term "color" is used to denote pitch variants, and by employing the old diatonic, or 8 tone, scale. Color Harmony are actually the projection of a forty-tone scale. Concomitants of Color Harmon are new development in form and counterpoint.

Louis Gesensway received the C. Hartman Kuhn Award for outstanding achievement from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1945; a member of ASCAP since 1956, and was recorded by Columbia Records. His chamber works have been performed world-wide. His Orchestral works have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Symphony, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and many others. He has taught composition, harmony and counterpoint and has written a book on Violin Technique and a book on Harmony.

To encourage increased individual participation in our musical culture, Louis Gesensway has written many works which combine woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments in small ensembles with string instruments. He original works and arrangements provide challenges and opportunities for student, amateur and professional musicians.

Source: The Piano Network Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2010)

Louis Gesensway: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Louis Gesensway (The Piano Network)




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