Morten Lauridsen

From Wind Repertory Project
Morten Lauridsen


Morten Lauridsen (b. 27 February 1943, Colfax, Washington) is an American composer of Danish ancestry. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and attended Whitman College and the University of Southern California, where he studied advanced composition. Among his early teachers were Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen.

Lauridsen is most noted for his six vocal cycles — Les Chansons des Roses, Madrigali, Mid-Winter Songs, Cuatro Canciones, A Winter Come, and Lux Aeterna — and his series of a cappella motets, which are regularly performed by distinguished ensembles and vocal artists throughout the world. A compact disc of his compositions, entitled Lauridsen - Lux Aeterna (which includes a recording of O Magnum Mysterium by the Los Angeles Master Choral conducted by Paul Salamunovich) was nominated for a Grammy award in 1998. His Dirait-on and O Magnum Mysterium are the all-time best selling choral octavos distributed by Theodore Presser Company, which has been in business since 1783.

He is a long-time professor of Composition at the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton School of Music, and served as chairman of its Composition Department between 1990 and 2002.

In 2006, Morten Lauridsen was named an "American Choral Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007, he was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide." The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.

Works for Winds