Dorothy Rudd Moore

Escrito por Eliana Monteiro da Silva - setembro/2019

Dorothy Rudd Moore (1940)

Biografia

        Dorothy Rudd Moore nasceu em New Castle, Delaware, em 1940. Filha de cantora, cedo começou a compor. Em seus relatos ela conta que jamais pensou que não seria musicista, pois foi criada com piano em casa, tendo as primeiras lições com sua mãe. Mais tarde ingressou na Wilmington School of Music, onde estudou piano com Harry Andrews. Estudou paralelamente clarinete, o que lhe proporciou participar da banda (até enão masculina) do Howard High School. Nesta instituição teve aulas de teoria musical juntamente com o pianista Robert Jordan e fêz parte do coro de estudantes. Cantou também na Methodist Church, onde não faziam gospel, mas hinos e antífonas.

        Formou-se na Universidade de Howard em 1963, onde estudou, entre outros(as), com Dean Warner Lawson, Thomas Kerr e Mark Fax. Seu diploma exibe as áreas Major em Composição e Teoria e Minor em Piano e Canto. Recebeu uma bolsa de estudos para estudar com Nadia Boulanger na França, na Écoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau.

        Em seu retorno aos EUA, Dorothy foi viver em Nova Iorque. Lá estudou com Chou Wen-Chung, em 1965. Em 1968, tornou-se co-fundadora da Society of Black Composers. Desenvolveu carreira docente, atuando como professora na Escola de Artes do Harlem (1965-66), na Universidade de Nova York (1969) e no Bronx Community College (1971). Atuou também como professora particular de piano, voz, canto e treinamento auditivo, atividades que mantém até o presente.

        Em 1964 casou-se com o regente e violoncelista Kermit Moore. O casal enfrentou dificuldades devido a práticas racistas, como a proibição inicial de se apresentar no Damrosch Memorial Concert em 1969 pelo fato de o comitê organizador considerar que a participação de 2 pessoas negras no programa era um número excessivo.

        Não obstante, a compositora vem realizando trabalhos nos Estados Unidos, Europa e Ásia, tendo obras encomendadas por orquestras e grupos como a National Symphony, a Opera Ebony e a Buffalo Philharmonic. Dorothy foi laureada com um American Music Center Grant em 1972, um Grant do Conselho Estadual de Artes de Nova York (1985), além de participar de edições do projeto Meet the Composer.

        Seu catálogo inclui peças de câmara, ciclos de canções, música orquestral e uma ópera. Obras como Dirge and Deliverance e Songs from the Dark Tower foram publicados pela Performance Records em 1981. Já a ópera Frederick Douglass estreou na cidade de Nova York em 1985.

        Dorothy foi uma das fundadoras da Society of Black Composers. Entre 1988 e 90 foi membro do comitê responsável pelo New York State Council of the Arts.

        Suas obras podem ser encontradas na American Composers Alliance.

Composições

        Dorothy começou a compor e a cantar suas peças na infância. Para ela, era uma atividade natural e nem sabia que existia a profissão de compositor(a). Ela cita Bach e Duke Ellington como influências, mas também o repertório que ouvia na Academy of Music apresentado pela Philadelphia Orchestra, em Philadelphia. Conheceu e admira compositoras(es) negras(es) como Margaret Bonds, Julia Perry, Hale Smith e Ulysses Kay.

        Na Howard University começou a ter suas composições tocadas pelos(as) estudantes nos recitais. A primeira, Reflections of Life, foi apresentada como prêmio num concurso de que participou sob pseudônimo. Foi também para um concurso da universidade que Dorothy compôs Symphony Number One, cuja premiação foi ser tocada pela National Symphony.

        O casamento com o violoncelista Kermit Moore motivou-a a compor para este instrumento, solo ou em conjuntos de câmara. Assim nasceu a obra Moods, para viola e cello, que recebeu crítica efusiva do jornal The New York Times.

        A ópera Frederick Douglass tem música e libreto de sua autoria. Foi comissionada pela Opera Ebony, organização ligada a uma freira católica da Louisiana.

        Dorothy critica a insistência dos(das) organizadores(as) de eventos em programar apenas composições de autores(as) negros(as) quando se trata de gospel, spiritual e afins.

Para conhecer sua obra

  • Weary Blues. Canção com texto de Langston Hughes. Jose Pietri-Coimbre (Baritono), Halie Morris (cello) e Richard Liebowitz (piano). Disponível em: https://youtu.be/8-vgC9RXz5M

  • Fourth of July - ária da ópera Frederick Douglass. José Pietri-Coimbre (Baritono), Richard Liebowitz (Piano). Disponível em: https://youtu.be/Y6MOHGaMtRI

  • From the dark tower (ciclo de canções). Hilda Harris (Mezzo-Soprano), Kermit Moore (cello), Wayne Sanders (piano). Disponível em: https://youtu.be/qEKFzjMveCw

  • Modes. Cardamom Quartet. Disponível em: https://youtu.be/jh7MhaLx2mI

  • Transcension. Para orquestra de câmara. Músicos da “League of Composers Orchestra in New York”, Oliver Hagen (regente). Disponível em: https://youtu.be/yUSmoA7DQ4E

  • Baroque Suite, III. Allegro vivace. Timothy Holley (violoncelo). Disponível em: https://youtu.be/4aCL4CvjVjM
     

Mais informações

Dorothy Rudd Moore (1940)

Biography

        Dorothy Rudd Moore was born in New Castle, Delaware, in 1940. As a singer’s daughter, she soon began composing. In her reports she tells that she never thought she would not be a musician, because she was raised with piano at home, having the first lessons with her mother. She later joined the Wilmington School of Music, where she studied piano with Harry Andrews. She studied clarinet in parallel, which allowed her to participate in the band (predominantly male) of the Howard High School. At this institution she took music theory classes together with pianist Robert Jordan and was part of the student choir. She also sang at the Methodist Church, where they did not make gospel but hymns and anthems.
        She graduated from Howard University in 1963, where she studied, among others, with Dean Warner Lawson, Thomas Kerr and Mark Fax. Her degree shows the Major areas in Composition and Theory and Minor in Piano and Singing. She received the Lucy Moten Fellowship to study with Nadia Boulanger at Écoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, in France.

        On her return to the USA, Dorothy went to live in New York. There she studied with Chou Wen-Chung in 1965. In 1968 she became co-founder of the Society of Black Composers. She developed a teaching career as a teacher at Harlem School of Arts (1965-66), New York University (1969) and Bronx Community College (1971). She also worked as a private teacher of piano, voice, singing and auditory training, activities that she maintains until the present.
        In 1964 she married the conductor and cellist Kermit Moore. The couple struggled due to racist practices, such as the initial ban on performing at the Damrosch Memorial Concert in 1969 because the organizing committee considered the participation of two black people in the program to be too many.
        Nevertheless, the composer has been performing works in the United States, Europe and Asia, having works commissioned by orchestras and groups such as National Symphony, Opera Ebony and Buffalo Philharmonic. Dorothy was awarded an American Music Center Grant in 1972, a Grant from the New York State Council of Arts (1985), and has participated in editions of the Meet the Composer project.
        Her catalog includes chamber pieces, song cycles, orchestral music and an opera. Works like Dirge and Deliverance and Songs from the Dark Tower were published by Performance Records in 1981. The opera Frederick Douglass was premiered in New York City in 1985.
        Dorothy was one of the founders of the Society of Black Composers. Between 1988 and 90 she was a member of the committee responsible for the New York State Council of the Arts.
        Her works can be found at the American Composers Alliance.

Compositions

        Dorothy began composing and singing her plays as a child. For her, it was a natural activity and she did not even know that there was the profession of composer. She cites Bach and Duke Ellington as influences, but also the repertoire she listened to at the Academy of Music presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia. She has met and admired black songwriters such as Margaret Bonds, Julia Perry, Hale Smith and Ulysses Kay.
        At Howard University she began to have her compositions played by students at recitals. The first one, Reflections of Life, was presented as a prize in a contest she participated under pseudonym. It was also for the University contest that she composed Symphony Number One, whose award was the composition to be played by the National Symphony.
        Marriage to cellist Kermit Moore motivated her to compose for this instrument, solo or in chamber ensembles. So was born the work Moods, for viola and cello, which received rave reviews from The New York Times.
        The opera Frederick Douglass has music and libretto of his own. It was commissioned by Opera Ebony, an organization linked to a Louisiana Catholic nun.
        Dorothy criticizes the event organizers' insistence on programming only compositions by black authors when it comes to gospel, spiritual and the like.

To know her work

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Dorothy Rudd Moore