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Marc  Blitzstein

Born: March 2nd, 1905
Died: January 22nd, 1964
Country of origin: United States of America

Composer-lyricist Marc (Marcus Samuel) Blitzstein was born in Philadelphia on March 2, 1905. From his earliest years he displayed musical talent and he began public appearances at the age of six. Blitzstein began composing at the age of twelve, and in his teens he was called a “piano prodigy.” At 15 he was a piano soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He spent two years at the Curtis Institute, studying composition with Rosario Scalero, at the same time as he studied piano with Alexander Siloti in New York. In 1926 Blitzstein moved to Europe. In Paris he studied music composition with Nadia Boulanger, and at the Berlin Akademie der Künste he worked with Arnold Schonberg.

Blitzstein's musical energy found its release in many forms: concert works, opera, film scores, and the musical stage. A one-act opera, Triple-Sec, was first performed in 1929 in Philadelphia; a year later it became a part of Garrick Gaieties in New York.

Blitzstein was particularly haunted by the conflict between art for art's sake and art as a tool for social reform. He took a special interest in attempts of workers to unionize and strove to call attention to their efforts by means of his music. In 1938 Blitzstein's radicalism became increasingly political when he joined the Communist Party. Nine years later, he resigned his membership.

During the 1950s Blitzstein's most acclaimed work was the translation and adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, which ran from 1954 to 1961. Blitzstein's version of the song “Mack the Knife” became an immediate hit. With the collaboration of Kurt Weill, Blitzstein made the piece into a minor classic. First performed in 1952 at Brandeis University, The Threepenny Opera opened in New York in 1954.

Determined to work on a new project, Blitzstein left for Martinique in 1964 and it was there that he was robbed and murdered on January 22.

per page
  1. The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Volume number : Vol. 1
    Instrumentation : Voice and Piano
    Language : English
    Order No. : BHI 5001004
    €47.00  *

    Out of stock

  2. The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Volume number : Vol. 2
    Instrumentation : Voice and Piano
    Language : English
    Order No. : BHI 5001050
    €49.95  *
  3. The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Volume number : Vol. 3
    Instrumentation : Voice and Piano
    Order No. : BHI 5001101
    €47.00  *

    Out of stock

  4. Triple-Sec

    Triple-Sec

    (Die Sünde des Lord Silverside)
    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Edition : performance material
    Language : English - German

per page
Profile

Composer-lyricist Marc (Marcus Samuel) Blitzstein was born in Philadelphia on March 2, 1905. From his earliest years he displayed musical talent and he began public appearances at the age of six. Blitzstein began composing at the age of twelve, and in his teens he was called a “piano prodigy.” At 15 he was a piano soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He spent two years at the Curtis Institute, studying composition with Rosario Scalero, at the same time as he studied piano with Alexander Siloti in New York. In 1926 Blitzstein moved to Europe. In Paris he studied music composition with Nadia Boulanger, and at the Berlin Akademie der Künste he worked with Arnold Schonberg.

Blitzstein's musical energy found its release in many forms: concert works, opera, film scores, and the musical stage. A one-act opera, Triple-Sec, was first performed in 1929 in Philadelphia; a year later it became a part of Garrick Gaieties in New York.

Blitzstein was particularly haunted by the conflict between art for art's sake and art as a tool for social reform. He took a special interest in attempts of workers to unionize and strove to call attention to their efforts by means of his music. In 1938 Blitzstein's radicalism became increasingly political when he joined the Communist Party. Nine years later, he resigned his membership.

During the 1950s Blitzstein's most acclaimed work was the translation and adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, which ran from 1954 to 1961. Blitzstein's version of the song “Mack the Knife” became an immediate hit. With the collaboration of Kurt Weill, Blitzstein made the piece into a minor classic. First performed in 1952 at Brandeis University, The Threepenny Opera opened in New York in 1954.

Determined to work on a new project, Blitzstein left for Martinique in 1964 and it was there that he was robbed and murdered on January 22.

Products

per page
  1. The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Volume number : Vol. 1
    Instrumentation : Voice and Piano
    Language : English
    Order No. : BHI 5001004
    €47.00  *

    Out of stock

  2. The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Volume number : Vol. 2
    Instrumentation : Voice and Piano
    Language : English
    Order No. : BHI 5001050
    €49.95  *
  3. The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    The Marc Blitzstein Songbook

    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Volume number : Vol. 3
    Instrumentation : Voice and Piano
    Order No. : BHI 5001101
    €47.00  *

    Out of stock

  4. Triple-Sec

    Triple-Sec

    (Die Sünde des Lord Silverside)
    Composer : Blitzstein, Marc
    Edition : performance material
    Language : English - German

per page
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