American Composer David Diamond Dies at Age 89

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U.S. Composer David Diamond

Originally trained as a violinist, American composer David Diamond was known for his sense of melody. Seattle Symphony hide caption

itoggle caption Seattle Symphony

Composer David Diamond died Monday in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. He would have turned 90 in July.

As a composer, Diamond is celebrated for his sense of melody, which he felt helped him speak to the public. He received numerous prizes and grants for his music and taught at the Juilliard School for nearly 25 years.

Born in Rochester, N.Y., on July 9, 1915, Diamond was the product of music in American schools. He started out playing violin in elementary school. He then studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School, and also with the famed Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

Conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Serge Koussevitzky, Eugene Ormandy and, more recently, Gerard Schwarz, championed his music.

A close friend of Diamond's, Schwarz recorded much of the composer's music with the Seattle Symphony. Just a month ago, the symphony honored Diamond and his music at its Made in America Festival.

We hear a performance from that festival. It's the last movement from Diamond's Symphony No. 4, performed by the Seattle Symphony led by conductor Gerard Schwarz.

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