Social Icons

Social Connect

William Mayer

  • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Birthday: November 18
Date of passing: 
November 17, 2017

Obituary

Obituary: 

William Mayer was an American composer, best known for his prize-winning opera A Death in the Family, which aired on television in 2012.

Mayer was born in New York City. He entered Yale University in 1944, but his college years were interrupted by military service (he served as a counter-intelligence agent in US-occupied Japan). Upon his discharge he re-entered Yale and graduated in 1949, then trained at the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music.

William Mayer was an American composer, best known for his prize-winning opera A Death in the Family, which aired on television in 2012.

Mayer was born in New York City. He entered Yale University in 1944, but his college years were interrupted by military service (he served as a counter-intelligence agent in US-occupied Japan). Upon his discharge he re-entered Yale and graduated in 1949, then trained at the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music.

The composer has written three stage works in addition to his prize-winning A Death in the Family, and a variety of orchestral, chamber, choral and vocal works. John Rockwell of The New York Times points out that Mayer is "especially known for his operas and songs ... his work sings out with real beauty, both in the vocal writing and the instrumental settings."

Distinguished artists have introduced his scores: Robert De Cormier led the New York Choral Society in its Lincoln Center premiere of Spring Came on Forever; sopranos Heidi Grant Murphy, Eleanor Steber and Christine Brewer have all premiered vocal-chamber works; and Leopold Stokowski (at eighty-eight) conducted Mayer's piano concerto Octagon at Carnegie Hall with William Masselos as soloist.

Mayer died November 17, 2017, in Manhattan, New York. He was 91.

Show more

william-mayer-450x600.jpg

William Mayer

William Mayer

Photo credit: 
Bernice B. Perry

Main