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William Schuman

Pulitzer Prize-winning symphonist

Born August 4, 1910, Bronx, New York
Died February 15, 1992, New York, New York
About William Schuman

William Schuman was one of New York's foremost musical citizens during the 1940s and 1950s, during which time he was president of the Julliard School and Lincoln Center, and won the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded for musical composition. Schuman's reputation as a skilful composer for the orchestra has continued to grow, with his symphonies being especially popular; he also wrote much noteworthy choral music, including quirky settings such as the Mail Order Madrigals, set to text from the 1897 Sears, Roebuck catalog.

Schuman wrote only two operas, both brief one-acts, but well worth hearing. One of them, 1953's The Mighty Casey, was later reworked by the composer into a cantata on the same subject.

  • The Mighty Casey, baseball opera in three scenes
    Libretto by Jules Gury after the poem Casey at the Bad by Ernest L. Thayer.
    May 4, 1953, Hartt College of Music, Hartford, Connecticut
  • A Question of Taste, opera in one act
    Libretto by J. D. McClatchy after the story Taste by Roald Dahl.
    June 24, 1989, Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown, New York

Discography Search for recordings of the music of William Schuman at Amazon.com

The Mighty Casey (abridged)


Adairondack Chamber Orchestra/Smith

Three American One-Act Operas

CD / Premier 1009 (1998)

William Schuman

The Mighty Casey/A Question Of Taste

Julliard Opera Center/Schwartz

2 CD / Delos 1030 (1994)

Bibliography Search for books by and about William Schuman at Amazon.com

Prayer from The Mighty Casey


G. Schirmer American Opera Anthology: Mezzo-Soprano

G. Schirmer 2004

"In 1839" from The Mighty Casey

The Catcher's Song from The Mighty Casey

The Manager's Song from The Mighty Casey

The Umpire's Song from The Mighty Casey


G. Schirmer American Opera Anthology: Baritone/Bass

G. Schirmer 2004

Prayer from The Mighty Casey


G. Schirmer American Opera Anthology: Soprano

G. Schirmer 2004

Last update: January 1, 2009