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Dominick Argento: Minnesota Romantic

Minnesota Romantic | Operas | Song Cycles | Choral Works | Orchestral | The Teacher/Composer | Timeline

Part 7: A Life in Music

1927 Born October 27 in York, Pennsylvania
1943-45 Begins piano lessons; teaches himself harmony
and orchestration from library books.
1945-47 Cryptographer with U.S. Army in East Africa.


Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, winning composition prize three years in a row; completes Songs about Spring.
Fulbright Fellow in Florence, Italy.
Master of Music degree from Peabody; marries soprano
Carolyn Bailey, who will premiere many of his works.

Ph.D. from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York; opera The Boor results in contract with Boosey & Hawkes.
1958 Guggenheim Fellow in Florence; composes Six Elizabethan Songs.



Joins faculty of University of Minnesota.Cofounder of Center Opera Company (now the Minnesota Opera); composes inaugural opera, The Masque of Angels.

1964-65 Second Guggenheim Fellowship; completes Variations for Orchestra.
1971 Postcard from Morocco, commissioned by Center Opera Company, draws national attention.
1975 From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, premiered by Dame Janet Baker, wins Pulitzer Prize.
1976 The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe commissioned by the University of Minnesota for the American Bicentennial.
1979 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
1980 Appointed Regents Professor at University of Minnesota.


Casa Guidi performed by Frederica von Stade and Neville Marriner on the Minnesota Orchestra's East Coast tour; Håkan Hagegård premieres The Andrée Expedition.


Casanova's Homecoming commissioned for the opening of theOrdway Music Theatre in St. Paul.

Casanova's Homecoming receives National Music Theatre Award.

The Aspern Papers premieres in Dallas; telecast on PBS's Great Performances series.



The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe selected by Chicago Lyric Opera to inaugurate a decade-long program of American operas.
1991 Grammy Award nomination for recording of Te Deum.



Receives Award for Achievement from Opera America and Peabody Medal from Johns Hopkins University; The Dream of Valentino co-commissioned by Washington Opera and Dallas Opera.
1994 Receives Founders Award from Chorus America.



Song cycle for Frederica von Stade and Hakan Hagegard,
A Few Words About Chekhov, premieres at the Ordway
and is featured on Hagegard's world tour.
1997 Appointed Composer Laureate of the Minnesota Orchestra;
retires December 31 from the University of Minnesota.




Receives McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award.

Reverie, commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra, performed in New York and Europe on the orchestra's
first European tour.

2004 GRAMMY : Classical Contemporary Composition: " Argento : Casa Guidi," Dominick Argento (Frederica von Stade, mezzo soprano; Eiji Oue; Minnesota Orchestra).

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