Four weeks after his 99th birthday, the legendary American songbook composer (among many other things) passed away this morning in his residence. In this article we have shared How did he die? what happened? and what was Ned Rorem cause of death.
How did Ned Rorem die?
Ned Rorem passed away on November 18 at his Manhattan home. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and the author of more than a dozen published diaries that were notable for their open entry into affluent gay and artistic circles from the 1960s onward. He was 99.
Mary Marshall, his niece, confirmed the passing but did not give the cause.
Ned Rorem cause of death
The reason of death has not yet been disclosed.
However, it appears that little can be spoken at this moment until the family issues a formal statement regarding the situation. As always, once this news is verified, we will look into it and notify you.
We must thus wait till the family members have had the time and space to absorb this enormous loss.
In order to get feedback on the incident, Daily Info Express is attempting to contact family and relatives. Still no response. Once we have enough data, we will update the page. We’ll soon add more details about Ned Rorem’s cause of death.
Who was Ned Rorem?
When Mr. Rorem was in his 20s, he first rose to fame as a writer of “art songs,” which were sharp musical settings of poetry meant to be performed by vocalists with classical training. These songs frequently featured an intricate piano part that was more of a full complement to the melody than an accompaniment.
He was aware of the capabilities and limitations of the human voice right away. Although occasionally strenuous and moderately dissonant, his melodies were always linear, and the words typically emerged in a natural, unforced rhythm, almost as enhanced speech that was simple for a listener to understand.
One of America’s most prolific composers, Mr. Rorem had produced more than 400 of these songs by the time he was 40, in addition to three symphonies, several one-act operas, a significant amount of chamber music, and various other works. In 1976, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his orchestral suite “Air Music.”
However, Mr. Rorem once declared that his 1998 song cycle “Evidence of Things Not Seen” was his best composition. With solo performances interwoven with ensembles of all kinds, Mr. Rorem chose 36 diverse texts for this vast composition, which lasts more than an hour and a half without intermission. The texts were largely poetry but included excerpts from sermons, journals, and autobiographies.
“Evidence” was hailed as “one of the musically richest, most exquisitely crafted, and most voice-friendly collections of songs I have ever heard by any American composer,” according to critic and voice historian Peter G. Davis in a New York magazine article.
But at this time, Mr. Rorem’s journals had gained at least as much notoriety as his music. He wrote “The Paris Diary” in 1966, which caused a lot of controversy because it was a candid first-person account of the author’s sex life, which was gay and multi-partnered at a time when neither proclivity was accepted as a topic for discussion.
The novel was “worldly, erudite, licentious, and exceedingly indiscreet,” according to New Yorker writer Janet Flanner.
The diaries that came after “The Paris Diary” throughout the course of the next 40 years were influenced by it. With episodic, anecdotal writing style, sardonic humour, and inspired cultural criticism, they mixed purple prose.
Mr. Rorem, who is of Norwegian ancestry and is tall, blue-eyed, handsome as a movie star and endowed with tremendous personal charm, was once likened to “a mixture of the debonair and the calculating” by arts critic John Gruen.
President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Mr. Rorem appeared to be well-connected in the artistic community; in fact, he presided over the American Academy of Arts and Letters from 2000 to 2003. However, friends and acquaintances could never be certain that they would not become famous, for better or worse, after appearing in one of Mr. Rorem’s books.
In his writings, which he referred to as his “four Time magazine covers,” he was open and explicit about his relationships. The trouble with Ned is that he doesn’t, according to a comment made anonymously in the London Independent about his 1993 memoir “Knowing When to Stop.”
Ned Miller Rorem Biography
The son of C. Rufus Rorem, a medical economist whose work helped shape Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and the former Gladys Miller, a Society of Friends antiwar organiser, Ned Miller Rorem was born in Richmond, Indiana, on October 23, 1923.
In his second book, “The New York Diary,” Mr. Rorem stated that his group of friends “were Quakers of the intellectual rather than the puritanical sort” (1967). He would identify as a “Quaker atheist” throughout his life, finding no conflict in the term.
He was raised in Chicago, where his first piano instructor exposed him to the works of Ravel and Debussy. He spent a year studying with Gian Carlo Menotti, who was at the time the most well-known opera composer in America, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
From the Juilliard School in New York, where Mr. Rorem also earned a master’s degree in 1948, he graduated in 1946. He worked as a copyist and assistant in New York for composer and critic Virgil Thomson, who paid the young man $20 per week and taught him orchestration.
Always frank about his ambitions
In Lenox, Massachusetts, at what is now the Tanglewood Music Center, he also studied composition under Aaron Copland.
In 1949, Mr. Rorem left for Morocco before moving to Paris, where he met the wealthy art patron Vicomtesse Marie-Laure de Noailles. He resided with her there until 1957, at which point he went to New York “for publishing and performance,” as he put it.
His desires were always openly expressed: “To become famous, I would sign any paper,” he stated, alluding to the Faust legend.
Mr. Rorem had become an alcoholic by the time he was in his mid-forties and could be argumentative at times. His early journals are rife with self-pity and criticism of himself for his situation.
He stated to the Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide in 2010 that the goal of drinking was to become inebriated. “I was always inebriated. I was actually very bashful, but no one believes that. Drinking a lot makes you less shy. I got attention because I was cute, so I drank more than I should have. I was out later than I ought to have been. Finally, I told myself, “Anyone can drink, but I’m the only one who can compose music.”
He became mostly sober in the late 1960s, and after a few relapses, he didn’t drink again until 1973.
A composer who also writes, not a writer who also composes
Despite the fact that Mr. Rorem has always viewed himself as “a composer who also writes, not a writer who also composes,” his personal writings, such as his diaries, have attracted a bigger popular readership. They talk about his early, frenzied love life as well as the protracted, blissful domesticity he enjoyed with the organist James Holmes, who passed away in 1999.
He loathed the music of Beethoven (whom he felt sounded “outmoded”), Berlioz, and the majority of his avant-garde composer peers, from Pierre Boulez to Philip Glass (whom he believed wrote in “a musical Esperanto”). These volumes are full of strong opinions.
He regularly made fun of writers like Truman Capote and William S. Burroughs, saying things like, “He sold his brilliance for a mess of pottage,” and “Hype, the mask of the ungifted, was never more in apparent than on the PBS image of [his] charmless ego.” Additionally, Mr. Rorem felt compelled to divulge information to his readers that they could have reasonably avoided learning about, such as the particular location of his herpes breakouts and the precise number of trips he took to the restroom each night.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon and opera composer Daron Hagen were among Mr. Rorem’s students at the Curtis Institute, where he taught for many years and delivered master lectures despite his private concerns.
Mr. Rorem published books of criticism
Hagen stated to the New York Times in a 2003 profile on Mr. Rorem that he had attended an artists’ retreat and penned a letter to his former teacher in which he “detailed a hopeless love affair, writer’s block, gossip, and all sorts of rubbish. This lovely tiny postcard simply read, “Dear Daron: Colette stated no one expects you to be happy.” I received it back. Just finish your assignment. Dear Ned, I hung it up in my studio and resumed my work after that.
In his late 70s, Mr. Rorem decided to cease teaching so that he could focus on his own writing. He composed more than 500 songs, significant volumes of work for piano and organ, 10 operas of varying lengths, and other types of chamber music.
Mr. Rorem authored books of critique, such as “Music From Inside Out” (1967), “Setting the Tone” (1983), “Settling the Score” (1987), and “Other Entertainment,” in addition to his journals and memoir (1996). In 2005, he also released “Wings of Friendship,” a general collection of his letters, and “Dear Paul, Dear Ned,” a limited-edition compilation of his letters to the composer and author Paul Bowles (2007).
There are no immediate survivors after Mr. Rorem.
He admitted to being surprised to get the Pulitzer to the Hartford Courant in 1993 because he believed the “stuffy” music industry would have preferred to punish him for his “wicked ways.”
However, he continued, “it sort of gives you a certain authority.” I now always have ‘Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’ before my name. Therefore, if I pass away in a brothel, at least my obituary will note that I was a Pulitzer Prize–winning composer who died in a brothel.
Tribute to Mr. Rorem
Jake Johnson said,
RIP Ned Rorem. You left us not only with exquisite settings but also modeled a way of listening for the beautiful in this world and, whenever possible, knowing how to add rather than subtract another line to its curve.
Norman Lebrecht said,
Say what you like about Ned Rorem, he sure knew how to live.
Michael Andor Brodeur said,
“I’ve always felt it, of course, but more and more I’ve come actually to see that happiness not only proceeds but accompanies calamity.” – Ned Rorem
“The effort to write just this!” – Ned Rorem, April 12 1964
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