Dorothy Rudd Moore

1940 -


Dorothy Rudd Moore (b. 1940) born in New Castle, Delaware, is considered one of her generation’s leading woman composers of color. From a very early age, she loved music--an interest that her mother, a singer, actively supported. As a young girl, Moore listened to performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Eugene Ormandy conducting, an experience that she cherished. Her parents, who sent her to public schools in nearby Wilmington, encouraged her to explore all of her interests, and provided her with piano lessons. By her teens, Moore knew that she wanted to become a composer. Yet there were few role models in this field for a young black woman. She continued her study of piano at Wilmington School of Music, and became a student of Howard High School teacher (and later, Music Superintendent of Wilmington Public Schools) Harry Andrews. Moore learned to play clarinet so that she could join the all-male band at Howard High. In addition, she was a member of the school orchestra, studied music theory, and sang in the school choir and in her church choir. She enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she began as a music education major. Excelled in Music as a University Student At Howard, Moore studied with Dean Warner Lawson, Thomas Kerr, and Mark Fax, who supported her decision to change her major to composition. Her work, which includes chamber pieces, song cycles, orchestral music, and an opera, is admired for its high level of artistry, its seriousness of purpose, and has been performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. As a composer, he has amass various accolades such as the Lucy Moten Fellowship, 1963; The American Music Center Grant, 1972; The New York State Council on the Arts Grant, 1985; and several Meet the Composer grants.

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