The MacDowell Colony 

The Composers

Virgil Thomson

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Thomson was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 25, 1896. He studied at Harvard and in Paris, where he lived from 1925-1932. In Paris he studied composition under  Nadia Boulanger. He served as he was chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune from 1940 to 1954. Works include the operas Four Saints in Three Acts (1934); The Mother of Us All, Opera in 2 Acts (1947) with text by Gertrude Stein. Other works include: The Plow That Broke the Plains, for orchestra (1936); The Seine at Night, for orchestra (1947);  The Feast of Love, for baritone and orchestra (1964) Missa Pro Defunctis (Requiem Mass, 1960); and Seventeen Portraits, for piano (1982-84). In 1949, his musical score for the documentary film Louisiana Story in received the only Pulitzer Prize ever awarded for a film score. He died in New York on September 30, 1989.
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