Ulysses Kay: Twentieth Century Composer

U.S. Navy and Columbia > Columbia


Upon discharge from the Navy, Kay received the Alice M. Ditson Fellowship for creative work at Columbia University, where he studied with Otto Luening from 1946 to 1947. As he later wrote: "After the war I came to New York, enrolled at Columbia, attended Otto Luening's seminar sporadically, and composed as much as possible. A unique experience at this time was writing and conducting music for 'The Quiet One.' This sensitive film, written and produced by people with a true concern for music, was a fine opportunity for me as a composer."

During the summers, he was a resident at the Yaddo Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he would return six times, later joined by wife Barbara, through 1971. Major works from this period include: "Danse Calinda Suite;" "The Rope" for solo dancer and piano; "Concerto for Orchestra;" and the above-mentioned film music for "The Quiet One," a documentary film about Donald Thompson, then ten years old, by Janice Loeb, Sidney Meyers, and Helen Levitt, with commentary by James Agee and additional photography by Richard Bagley.


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