Bernard Rogers

From Wind Repertory Project
Bernard Rogers

Bernard Rogers (4 February 1893 - 24 May 1968) was an American composer and teacher of composition.

Rogers's teachers included Hans van der Berg, Arthur Farwell, Percy Goetschius (at the Institute of Musical Art), and Ernest Bloch. Rogers began studying with Bloch in 1916 and was his first American student. Guggenheim Fellowships afforded Rogers the opportunity to study with Frank Bridge in London, and Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

Rogers’ composed works include four symphonies and three operas, as well as a number of chamber works and major choral works. The New York Philharmonic premiered his symphonic elegy, To the Fallen, in 1919. Subsequent to the premier he was awarded a Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship.

In the realm of the wind band Rogers’ compositions are few. He is best known for his 1953 re-scoring of Three Japanese Dances. The piece was originally written for orchestra in 1933. Rogers also composed Pictures from the Tales of Aladdin for narrator and wind ensemble in 1965, and Apparitions in 1967.

Rogers career as an educator included positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music as well as The Hartt School. However, his work at the Eastman School of Music distinguished him as one of the great teachers of composition and orchestration of the mid-century. He joined Eastman in 1929 and became the chair of the composition department the following year. Rogers held the position until 1967. During his 38 years at Eastman he mentored over 700 composers, many of whom became distinguished and celebrated for their accomplishments.

Rogers’ book, The Art of Orchestration (1951), received a great deal of acclaim and was regarded as a seminal work. Valparaiso University and Wayne State University have awarded Rogers honorary doctorates. In 1947, he was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Works for Winds


  • Bernard Rogers, Eastman School of Music Accessed 23 May 2016
  • DERSNAH, S. J. (1975). Orchestration in the Orchestral Works of Bernard Rogers. (Order No. 7520070, The University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.