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Douglas Stuart Moore (8/10/1893 - 7/25/1969)

Douglas Moore (1893–1969) is best known for his most successful opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe. Inspired by actual events that occurred in 19th century Colorado, that opera launched the operatic career of American soprano Beverly Sills. Moore was already in his sixties when he wrote Baby Doe, but for three decades he had played a significant role in American musical life. And he served on the music faculty at Columbia University beginning in 1926, and as chairman of the music department from 1940 until 1962.

Moore, born in a Long Island suburb of New York, studied composition at Yale University with Horatio Parker, the founder of Yales music department and an American operatic composer in his own right. After graduation, Moore served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy, an experience that provided him new material sources for, and insights into, popular songwritingan area that had already sparked his interest during his years at Yale. This new parameter manifested itself in a collection of wryly humorous pieces, The Songs My Mother Never Taught Me (1921), written in collaboration with folksinger John Jacob Niles.




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