Theodore Morrison Manuscript



Published by G. Schirmer, Inc.


A finalist for the 2014 International Opera Awards in the category of World Premieres, Oscar is an opera in two acts on the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde. Based quotations from Wilde and his contemporaries, the libretto is by John Cox and the composer.
Commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia


Published by Abraham Rose & Associates

Symphony: "War and Reconciliation"

A fifty minute symphony in five movements for full orchestra and chorus, with tenor and baritone soloists; on Civil War poems by Walt Whitman; for the 100th Anniversary of the poet's death
Commissioned by the Choral Arts Society of Washington

quoteMorrison's approach to the texts drawn from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass section entitled "Drum-Taps" was one of strength, color, and deep-seated emotion.

The five-movement work, delicately sculptured with a decisively pungent harmonic language based on sinewy alignment of bi-tonal language, wended its way from moments of great tranquility to the savage encounters of drum-beats, blaring brass, and choral forces driven to the ultimate in terms of dynamic nuances - all effectively led by Norman Scribner.

There were moments of almost mystical beauty. An enthusiastic audience gave the composer, the conductor, and all the musical forces a fervent standing ovation, attesting to a contemporary musical utterance that was masterful in its craftsmanship, and artistically rendered by the Choral Arts Society of Washington.quote

- Baltimore Chronicle, March 1992
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington DC

Shir Shalom Rav (Song of Great Peace)

A thirty-five minute cantata in seven movements for mezzo soprano solo, chorus, and chamber orchestra; on liturgical Hebrew texts
Commissioned by Baltimore Choral Arts Society


A twenty-five minute work in seven movements for children's chorus and eight solo instruments; on poems by children, ages 4 to 13
Commissioned by the Children's Chorus of Maryland for the National Conference of Kodály Educators

Unto Us A Child Is Born

A twenty minute Christmas cantata; on a poem by William Dunbar
Version A: for chorus, tenor solo, and orchestra
Version B: for chorus, tenor solo, organ, brass, harp & percussion
Commissioned by the Choral Arts Society of Washington


A twelve minute work in Latin for SATBB chorus, organ, two trumpets and three trombones, with soprano and tenor soloists
Commissioned by the Holland Chorale for the March Festival of the Arts

Wind Overture

A festive overture for wind ensemble (22 players)
Commissioned by the University of Michigan Symphony Band

Softly Dancing (Songs of a Young Poet)

A twenty-two minute work in four movements for treble chorus, ,soprano solo, handbells, and five solo instrumentalists; on poems by Kathryn Wilson
Commissioned by St. Timothy's School, Baltimore County, Maryland

On A Volunteer Singer

A festive overture (introduction and fugue) for chorus and orchestra; on a text by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Commissioned by Baltimore Choral Arts Society for their 40th Anniversary


Published by Abraham Rose & Associates

Chamber Music

A cycle of five songs for voice and piano; on poems by James Joyce
Commissioned by David Daniels

quoteTheodore Morrison's song cycle for voice and piano, based on poems by Irish writer James Joyce, was haunting in its elegance and grace and allowed the singer to display many of his musicianly virtues creating intimacy and fluency, investing ideas with expressive drama and demonstrating sensitivity to both words and music.quote

- Toronto Star, February 23, 2004
Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto

quoteTwo arias from Handel's Semele ... gave the audience exactly what many of them really wanted to hear, but it was Theodore Morrison's recently written Chamber Music - a cycle of Joyce settings - that really proved Daniels's artistry. Beautiful, heartfelt songs flawlessly sung.quote

- The Herald, April 27, 2004
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

quoteNot surprisingly, the most moving moments of the evening came with Chamber Music - settings of James Joyce, specially written for Daniels by the American composer Theodore Morrison. Their simple, lyrical style - as naturally formed as any of Benjamin Britten's - was conveyed by the countertenor with complete authority and engaging intimacy.quote

- The Scotsman, April 27, 2004
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

quoteThen we were on Daniels's home repertoire. Theodore Morrison was in the audience to hear his James Joyce cycle, Chamber Music. Easy on the ear but never too obvious, these poignant settings were written expressly for Katz and Daniels, whose voice indeed fitted them perfectly.quote

- The Guardian, May 11, 2004
Barbican Hall, London

Serenade: "On the Nature of Love"

A cycle of five songs for baritone and twelve solo instruments with conductor; on poems by Theodore Roethke
Commissioned by Leslie Guinn for the Aspen Music Festival

Three Mystical Songs

A set of three songs for soprano, string quartet and piano; on poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins
For Jill Ker Conway and John Conway

Autumn Songs

A 2014 set of three songs on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
Commissioned by conductor Steven White as a gift for his wife, soprano Elizabeth Futral


Published by Abraham Rose & Associates

Organ Sonata

A five movement work for solo organ
Commissioned by the Springfield, Massachusetts Chapter of the American Guild of Organists for the convention of Regions I & II (New England, New York, New Jersey)

The Gifts of the Spirit

A ten-minute set of variations for organ on the hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus
Commissioned by Marilyn Mason

Organ and Choral Music CD by Theodore Morrison Organ and Choral Music CD
by Theodore Morrison


(All but three published by Earthsongs)

Missa Brevis (Missa Canonica)

A Latin mass for unaccompanied chorus, with optional organ
Commissioned by the Pioneer Valley Cappella

Shakespeare Songs

Three movements for male chorus and piano (two players) with optional percussion (two players); on songs from the plays of Shakespeare
Commissioned by the Amherst College Glee Club

The Wild Swans at Coole

A 2013 work for chorus and solo horn on a text by William Butler Yeats
Commissioned by The Yale Glee Club, Jeffrey Douma, conductor

Sing for Joy!

A festive anthem for choir and organ on verses from Psalm 84
Commissioned by Old First Church, Court Square, Springfield, Massachusetts
for the 350th Anniversary of the Church

Give Thanks to the Lord

A festive anthem for choir and organ on verses from Psalm 136
Commissioned by the Choir of St. Alban's Church, Washington, DC

Shirei Shabbat (Sabbath Songs)

Four movements on Hebrew texts for unison or two-part choir with piano or organ, with optional vocal soloists
Commissioned by the Smith College Choir

Silent Love

Three songs for women's chorus and piano on poems by Christina Rossetti, Edward Dyer, and an anonymous Elizabethan poet
Commissioned by the University of Michigan Women's Glee Club

Easter Joy

A rhapsody for chorus and organ with soprano solo on poems by George Herbert
Commissioned by St. Alban's Parish, Washington, DC
Published by Abraham Rose and Associates

Canzoni d'amore

A rhapsody for SSATB chorus with two French horns and piano on sonnets by Michelangelo
Commissioned by Southeastern Louisiana University
Published by Abraham Rose & Associates

Holy Sonnet XV

Text by John Donne for choir and organ with soprano and tenor solos
Commissioned by the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore
Published by Abraham Rose & Associates

French Songs for Treble Voices

Three songs for unaccompanied chorus of treble voices; on original French poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
For the choir of The Garrison Forest School

Winter Madrigals

Two songs by Shakespeare for unaccompanied mixed chorus or vocal quartet
For Jerry Blackstone and the Michigan Youth Chamber Singers at Interlochen

Sicilian Muses

A setting of the first ten verses of Virgil's Eclogue IV for male chorus, piano (4-hands) and optional percussion (two players)
For Jerry Blackstone and the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club

Byron and Shelley

Two songs for unaccompanied chorus or vocal quartet: She Walks in Beauty (Byron) and Music, When Soft Voices Die (Shelley)
For the University of Michigan Chamber Choir

Summer Sonnet

A choral setting of Shakespeare's "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
For the Michigan Youth Chamber Singers at Interlochen, and the High School Music Festival Choir at Northwestern University

A Chant for Peace in our Time

On a text by Benedict de Spinoza for unaccompanied chorus in six parts
For the University of Michigan Choirs after the events of September 11, 2001

Organ and Choral Music CD by Theodore Morrison Organ and Choral Music CD
by Theodore Morrison


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