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Julian Work

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Biography

Julian C. Work (25 September 1910, Nashville, Tenn. – 15 June 1995, Tolland, Mass.) was an American composer.

Julian Work was born to a family of professional musicians. His grandfather, John Wesley Work was a composer and arranger for the Fisk Jubilee Singers. His father, John Wesley Work, Jr. was the first African-American collector of folk songs and spirituals and also a choral director. His brother John Wesley Work III was a composer, educator, choral director and scholar of African-American folklore and music and his mother, Agnes Hayes Work, was a singer who also helped train the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

Work studied at Fisk University and took private instruction in music, participating in neighborhood musical groups and performing as a jazz pianist. Work studied music at an early age, participating in neighborhood musical groups and performing as a jazz pianist. In 1929 he moved to New York City and was playing piano on the radio. He became a staff arranger for CBS Radio, becoming one of the first Black American composers to write music for radio and television. He was also the sole music arranger for the Voice of Firestone on radio and television. He composed several works for band, chorus and orchestra.


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