R. A. Zuckerman, an American composer (ASCAP), artist and writer, has been writing music, creating works and writing for over 50 years. Currently, his major effort is developing new dance music (MP3s, CD recordings, videos and scores) for 4RAZ.com .
Mr. Zuckerman’s musical works includes ballets, musicals, symphonies, chamber works, keyboard works, concertos, songs and song cycles, etc. Born and raised in New York City, he began studying violin and piano at age eight and composing at age 12. While in junior high school he began studying counterpoint and composition with Dr. William Pollak, a well known church composer and Dvorak disciple, at the New York College of Music
Mr. Zuckerman received a scholarship and majored in music composition at Mannes College of Music (55′-59′). While at Mannes his compositions received their first public performances. After relocating in Southern California he obtained a B.A. at California State College at Los Angeles and an M.A. at the University of Southern California. Studies in Information Science at USC lead to a career in information systems, systems analysis and programming in government (colleges and libraries) and industry. During his career, Mr. Zuckerman was engaged in a wide variety of library, educational and commercial automation projects, some reaching national prominence.
INFLUENCES: “Bartok, J.S. Bach and Mozart were my teen aged musical idols. Beethoven, Puccini, Prokofiev and Rodgers and Hammerstein now equal them in my appreciation, but Mozart remains my hero.”
Beethoven’s use of form and unity in style is an inspiration. The Fifth Symphony epitomizes his work. Bach’s contrapuntal invention and fugues are intellectual wonders. The Goldberg Variations are a monument to invention. Without the Well Tempered Clavier we might still be hand tuning stringed keyboard instruments. Puccini operas, in through-composed form, with beautiful orchestral color appeal to me. In the musical Star Crossed I attempted to use this model. I like musicals and Oklahoma is a favorite. Oklahoma is much like a Mozart number opera in form, though without accompanied recitatives. For me, Mozart is the grand master. His work, no matter in what form sings, whether it be Don Giovanni, the Sinfonia Concertantes, the Piano Concertos or Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, etc.”
“Music is so varied that the terms classical and popular are generalizations of little use. One can download to a single CD and listen to tracks of Ravi Shankar Sitar Music, a Trout Quintet movement, a Flight of the Conchords tune, Patsy Cline’s – Crazy, selected Gregorian Chants and Sousa’s Washington Post March. A good song is more enjoyable than a bad symphony. A good recording is better than a bad live performance, but a good live performance, of quality work, is best of all.”
DANCE REMINISCENCE – “Growing up in New York City in the 1940s and 50s offered unique experiences in seeing dance performances. Some of the memories I cherish are – Maria Tallchief in The Firebird; Martha Graham’s production of Copeland’s, Appalachian Spring; Balanchine’s NY City Ballet, Nutcracker; Jose Limon’s, Moor’s Pavane and work with Doris Humphrey; and seeing/hearing Stravinsky’s, Rite of Spring, for the first time.”
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