Irving Fine, Symphony (1962)


Irving Fine, Symphony (1962)







Irving Fine (1914-1962) was my father’s professor for a course in musical composition at Harvard College.

Fine’s Symphony (1962) may be his best work. I find it compelling on repeated listenings. It is not what one would call lush music, but it is totally engaging.

A premiere performance of this work was given at Tanglewood less than two weeks before Fine’s death in his forties from a heart attack. Fine conducted the premiere.

Fine was a member of a mid-twentieth century group of Boston composers who were sometimes called the “Boston Six” or “Boston School.” Other members of the Boston School included Arthur Berger, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, and Harold Shapero.

There are some interesting connections here, from a personal point of view. Besides my father’s having studied under Fine, four composers of the Boston Six — Berger, Bernstein, Fine, and Shapero — all taught at one time or another at Brandeis University, where I was a student in the 1960’s. I had a part time job in the Music Department and used to observe a couple of these professors come and go, but never studied under them.


— Roger W. Smith


About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1), a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
This entry was posted in Alan W. Smith (Roger W. Smith's father), my favorite music and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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