ANNA LARSON, composer
Residencies, Education, & Other Activities
- Fellow, Virginia Center of the Creative Arts
- Founder, Theatre & Song [summer theater workshop for teens]
- Co-Director, Play's The Thing [children's theater workshop at Catholic University]
- D.M.A., University of Maryland
- M.M., Virginia Commonwealth University
- B.A., Sarah Lawrence College
Anna Larson (1940-2007) was a composer, lyricist and playwright from the Washington, D.C. area with an undergraduate degree in music from Sarah Lawrence College, a Masters from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate in composition from the University of Maryland. Her early dance studies at the Sadler's Wells School of Ballet in London and her performances with the Washington Ballet deeply influenced her music.
Larson's principal solo vocal works are The Listeners, a gift to her father setting a poem by Walter de la Mare, and Nora for voice and cello that is an extended scene based on Ibsen's Doll's House. Both Nora and The Listeners are published by Arsis Press. A humorous piece for voice and piano is her Golden Wedding that sets a hilarious newspaper account from 1900 of a 50th anniversary celebration even including the gift list. Her choral music, includes O Come Emmanuel, Alleluia, A Christmas Round, and Hosanna for Palm Sunday.
Among her theatre projects with Joe Martin are: incidental music for the 1988 production of Strindberg's Ghost Sonata at American Showcase theater in Alexandria, Virginia, and The Match Girl's Snow Queen, produced in 1993 at American University in Washington, D.C. by Open Theatre, of which she was a founding member. Another collaborative work is her Seven Faces that explores the stages of grief.
Two of her orchestral works are recorded: Dance for Orchestra on the MMC label recorded by the Czech Radio Symphony, and Adagio for Trumpet and Strings, also on the MMC label and recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra. The Adagio, which may be performed by trumpet with either string orchestra or string trio, is published by Arsis Press. In addition, there is Matrix for orchestra and a partically completed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that was written during some of her many residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Dr. Larson was the author and composer of The Youfoe Trilogy (1981-1995). which has been the centerpiece of Play's the Thing!, a series of summer musical theatre workshops for children at The Catholic University of America, of which she was musical director beginning in 1994. She was also founding president of Theatre & Song, launched in 1999 to produce Sky's the Limit, a workshop series for teens for which she wrote new music. For both of these workshops she received grants from the American Composers Forum's Community Partners Program.
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