In Memoriam Ned Rorem ( 1923-2022 )

mon 28 nov 2022

Bijdetijds Monday 28th November 19.00.

Ned Rorem was born in 1923 in Richmond, Indiana. He spent his childhood in Chicago. Immediately after the Second World War he began to study at the Julliard School of Music in New York . His first songs appeared in the mid 40’s and in 1948 his song The Lordly Hudson was acclaimed by the Music Library Association as best song of the year. From 1949 he lived and worked for almost 10 years in Paris. There he was part of the circle of among others Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and Francis Poulenc and studied for a while with Arthur Honegger.  In 1958 he returned to the US and became increasingly successful. His diaries, published since the 60’s caused a furore. He didn’t conceal his sexual orientation. He described numerous affairs with among others Bernstein and Copland in great detail. More importantly, his songs were sung by leading American singers such as Leontyne Price and Phyllis Curtin.

Ned Rorem hadn’t composed or written for some time. In 2018 he said in an interview with the New York Times: “I’ve more or less said everything I wanted to and better than everyone else.”