(March 4, 1934 – August 23, 2019) was an Argentine
. Born in Argentina
, he emigrated in 1960 to the United States, where he lived for the remainder of his life. He is best known for his series of compositions called Synchronisms
, which in live performance incorporate both acoustic instruments and electroacoustic sounds played from a tape.
Davidovsky was born in Médanos
, Buenos Aires Province
a town nearly 600 km southwest of the city of Buenos Aires
close to the seaport of Bahía Blanca
. At seven he began his musical studies on the violin. At thirteen he began composing. He studied composition and theory under [http://www.guillermograetzer.com/ Guillermo Graetzer] at the University of Buenos Aires
, from which he graduated.
In 1958, he studied with Aaron Copland
and Milton Babbitt
at the Berkshire Music Center (now the Tanglewood Music Center
) in Lenox, Massachusetts
. Through Babbitt, who worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center
, and others, Davidovsky developed an interest in electroacoustic music. Copland encouraged Davidovsky to emigrate to the United States
, and in 1960, Davidovsky settled in New York City
he was appointed associate director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.
Most of his published compositions since the 1970s have been nonelectronic. His only published electroacoustic compositions since that time are Synchronisms No. 9
(1988) and Synchronisms No. 10
(1992). However, Davidovsky received a commission by a group led by SEAMUS
to compose two more electroacoustic works in the Synchronisms
series. No. 11 and No. 12 premiered in 2007 at the SEAMUS National Conference in Ames, IA.
Davidovsky's association with the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center continued, and from 1981 to 1993 he was the lab's director as well as professor of music at Columbia. In 1994 he became professor of music at Harvard. During his career, Davidovsky has also taught at many other institutions: University of Michigan
(1964), the Di Tella Institute of Buenos Aires (1965), the Manhattan School of Music
(1968–69), Yale University
(1969–70), and the City College of New York
He served on the composition faculty of Mannes College The New School for Music
In 1982, Davidovsky was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Davidovsky married Ellen Blaustein in 1961. They had two children, and three grandchildren. He died in New York City on August 23, 2019 at the age of 85.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters' Academy Award (1965)
Pulitzer Prize (1971)
Brandeis University Creative Arts Award
Aaron Copland-Tanglewood Award
SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award (1989)
Peggy Guggenheim Award (1982)
Barlow Endowment for Music Composition – Commission (2003)
Koussevitzky fellowship (1958)
Rockefeller fellowships (1963,1964)
Guggenheim fellowships (1960,1971)
Williams Foundation Fellowship
Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship
String Quartet No. 1 (1951)
Concertino for Percussion and String Orchestra (1954)
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings (1955)
Suite Sinfonica Para "El Payaso" (1955), orchestra
Three Pieces for Woodwind Quartet (1956)
Noneti for Nine Instruments (1956)
String Quartet No. 2 (1958)
Serie Sinfonica 1959 (1959), orchestra
Contrastes No. 1 (1960), string orchestra and electronic sounds
Electronic Study No. 1 (1961) Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center
Piano 1961 (1961), orchestra
Electronic Study No. 2 (1962)
Synchronisms No. 1 (1962), flute and electronic sound
Trio for Clarinet, Trumpet, and Viola (1962)
Synchronisms No. 2 (1964), flute, clarinet, violin, cello and tape
Synchronisms No. 3 (1964), cello and electronic sound
Electronic Study No. 3 (1965)
Inflexions (1965), chamber ensemble
Junctures (1966), flute, clarinet, and violin
Synchronisms No. 4 (1966), chorus and tape
Music for Solo Violin (1968)
Synchronisms No. 5 (1969), percussion players and tape
Synchronisms No. 6 (1970), piano and electronic sound (won 1971 Pulitzer Prize)
Chacona (1971), violin, cello, and piano
Transientes (1972), orchestra
Ludus 2 (1973), flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
Synchronisms No. 7 (1974), orchestra and tape
Synchronisms No. 8 (1974), woodwind quintet and tape
Scenes from Shir ha-Shirim (1975), soprano, two tenors, bass soli and chamber ensemble
String Quartet No. 3 (1976)
Pennplay (1979), sixteen players
Consorts (1980), symphonic band
String Quartet No. 4 (1980)
String Trio (1982), violin, viola, violoncello
Romancero (1983), soprano, flute (piccolo, alto flute), clarinet (bass clarinet), violin and violoncello
Divertimento (1984), cello and orchestra
Capriccio (1985), two pianos
Salvos (1986), flute (piccolo, alto flute), clarinet, harp, percussion, violin and cello
Quartetto (1987), flute, violin, viola and violoncello
Synchronisms No. 9 (1988), violin and tape
Biblical Songs (1990), soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
Concertante (1990), string quartet and orchestra
Simple Dances (1991–2001), flute (piccolo, alto flute), two percussion, piano, and cello
Synchronisms No. 10 (1992), guitar and electronic sounds
Shulamit's Dream (1993), soprano and orchestra
Festino (1994), guitar, viola, violoncello, contrabass
Concertino (1995), violin and chamber orchestra
Flashbacks (1995), flute (piccolo and alto flute), clarinet (bass clarinet), violin violoncello, piano and percussion
Quartetto No. 2 (1996), oboe, violin, viola, violoncello
String Quartet No. 5 (1998)
Quartetto No. 3 (2000), piano, violin, viola, and violoncello
Cantione Sine Textu (2001), soprano and chamber ensemble
RecitAndy (2001), cello
Duo Capriccioso (2003), piano and violin
Sefarad: Four Spanish-Ladino Folkscenes (2004), baritone voice, flute (piccolo, alto flute), clarinet (bass clarinet), percussion, violin and cello
Quartetto No. 4 (2005), clarinet, violin, viola and cello
Synchronisms No. 11 (2005), contrabass and tape
Synchronisms No. 12 (2006), clarinet and tape
Piano Septet (2007)
Divertimento for 8 ‘Ambiguous Symmetries’ (2015), flute, clarinet, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass, piano
Works by Martin Brody, Mario Davidovsky, Miriam Gideon, Rand Steiger, Chinary Ung, New World Records, New World 80412-2. Release date: December 8, 1992.
Synchronisms No. 6; Fred Bronstein, Piano.
Korf: Symphony No.2/Davidovsky: Divertimento/Wright: Night Scenes, New World Records, New World 80383-2. Release date: December 8, 1992.
Divertimento; Fred Sherry, cello; Riverside Symphony, George Rothman conducting.
Flashbacks: Music by Mario Davidovsky, Bridge Records, Bridge 9097. Release date: June 27, 2000.
Flashbacks; The New York New Music Ensemble.
Festino; Speculum Musicae.
Romancero; Susan Narucki, soprano; Speculum Musicae.
Quartetto No. 2; Peggy Pearson, oboe; Bayla Keyes, violin; Mary Ruth Ray, viola; Rhonda Rider, violoncello.
Synchronisms No. 10; David Starobin, guitar.
String Trio; Speculum Musicae.
Mario Davidovsky: 3 Cycles on Biblical Texts; Susan Narucki, soprano; Riverside Symphony, George Rothman conducting; Bridge Records, Bridge 1112. Release Date: July 30, 2002.
Scenes from Shir ha-Shirim.
Harvard Composers, Mendelssohn String Quartet, BIS Records, BIS-SACD-1264. Release date: September 9, 2003.
String Quartet No. 5.
Salvos: Chamber Music of Mario Davidovsky, Empyrean Ensemble; Susan Narucki, soprano. Arabesque Records, Arabesque Z6777. Release date: January 6, 2004.
Cantione Sine Textu.
The Music of Mario Davidovsky, Vol. 3, Bridge Records, Bridge 9171. Release date: September 1, 2005.
Synchronisms No. 5; The Manhattan School of Music Percussion Ensemble, Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor.
Synchronisms No. 6 Aleck Karis, piano.
Synchronisms No. 9; Curtis Macomber, violin.
Chacona; Curtis Macomber, violin; Eric Bartlett, cello; Aleck Karis, piano.
Quartetto; Susan Palma Nidel, flute; Curtis Macomber, violin; Maureen Gallagher, viola; Eric Bartlett, violoncello.
Duo Capriccioso; Curtis Macomber, violin; Aleck Karis, piano.