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Morton Gould (12/10/1913 - 2/21/1996)

By the age of four Morton Gould was showing signs of musical precociousness, playing the piano by ear; and by the time he was six he had composed his first piece of music, a waltz for piano entitled Just Six. With the help of a scholarship given to him by Walter Damrosch he entered the New York Institute of Musical Art (later the Juilliard School) when he was eight, and went on to study at the New York University School of Music, where he completed the two-year curriculum by the time he was fifteen. Soon afterwards he was giving piano recitals in and around New York, playing the piano in dance bands, theatres and cinemas, and touring as half of the piano duo Gould and Shefter. When the RKO Radio City Music Hall opened in 1932, the young Gould was its staff pianist, and by the age of twenty-one he was conducting, composing and arranging a series of orchestral programmes called Music for Today for WOR Mutual Radio, New York. This series continued on a weekly basis for eight years, during which Gould attained national prominence by appealing to a wide-ranging audience with his combination of classical and popular musical programming. He also acquired the discipline of writing to a deadline and in place of tempo indications started to provide descriptive titles for individual movements.



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