New York Times

Posted on July 24, 2014 by - Uncategorized

Stephen J. Albert, 51, Composer; Won a Pulitzer for His ‘Riverrun’

Published: December 29, 1992


Stephen J. Albert, a composer of lushly scored, dramatic symphonic music who won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for his “Symphony Riverrun” was killed on Sunday afternoon in an automobile accident in Truro, Mass. He was 51 years old and had homes in Newton Center, Mass., and in Truro, on Cape Cod.

Mr. Albert was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, said Sgt. John Thomas of the Truro Police Department. Mr. Albert’s wife, Marilyn, and son, Joshua, were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A daughter, Katie, was not injured.

Mr. Albert worked in several styles since the late 1960’s, when he made his first impact with atonal and electronic works. By the mid-1970’s, he began moving away from experimentalism and toward a neo-Romantic use of tonality and instrumental color. Many of his recent works, including his prize-winning symphony, have been based on sections of James Joyce’s novels “Finnegans Wake” and “Ulysses.” And, influenced by the rhythms of Joyce’s quirkily descriptive language, Mr. Albert moved toward an expressive style in which lyricism and shifting textures were paramount. An Affinity for Literature

Stephen Joel Albert was born in New York City on Feb. 6, 1941, and wrote his first pieces when he was 13 years old. He studied composition privately with Elie Siegmeister from 1956 to 1958 and with Darius Milhaud in 1958. In the early 1960’s, he continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, the Philadelphia Musical Academy and the University of Pennsylvania. He won the Rome Prize for composition in 1965 and 1966 and two Guggenheim Fellowships, in 1967 and 1978.

New York Times