Wednesday (4/3) on the NPR blog Deceptive Cadence, Mark Mobley writes, “Robert Ward, the American composer who won the Pulitzer Prize for bringing Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible to the opera stage, died early Wednesday of natural causes. The composer, who was also a National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honoree, was 95 years old. He had been living independently until early this year in a retirement home in Durham, N.C., according to his son Mark Ward, the assistant principal cellist of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, who confirmed the death to NPR Music. Born in Cleveland in 1917, the elder Ward was an Army bandmaster in the Pacific theater during World War II. His Second Symphony was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and premiered three years after the end of the war. A onetime student of Aaron Copland at Tanglewood, he was trained at the Eastman and Juilliard schools. Ward went on to a distinguished academic career that included a decade of teaching composition at Juilliard, five years as president of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a decade as a professor at Duke University. … In addition to composing eight operas and a range of instrumental and choral works written in an open, accessible style, he also served as an executive at the classical music publisher Galaxy Music Corporation.” Ward also served on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras in the 1980s and ’90s.

Posted April 4, 2013