Morton GouldComposer | 2010
Born in Richmond Hill, Queens, in December 1913, Morton Gould was recognized early on as a child prodigy and at the age of six had his first composition published. When Radio City Music Hall opened, the young Gould was its staff pianist. By the age of 21, he was conducting and arranging a series of orchestral programs for WOR Mutual Radio. He attained national prominence through his work in radio, with his combination of classical and popular programming. During the 1940s, Gould appeared on the Cresta Blanca Carnival program and The Chrysler Hour (CBS), reaching an audience of millions. In a time before “crossover music,” Gould’s music integrated jazz, blues, gospel, country-and-western, and folk elements into compositions that bear his mastery of orchestration and imaginative formal structures. Gould’s music was commissioned by symphony orchestras throughout the United States, and as a conductor he led all the major American orchestras as well as many around the world. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) since 1939, Gould served on the board from 1952 until his death in 1996 and was president from 1986 until 1994. A Kennedy Center honoree and longtime resident of Great Neck, Gould posthumously received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.