Composition Department

Faculty

THOMAS BEVERSDORF (IU faculty: 1951-1977)

bvrdrf



Biography

Selected Compositions

Selected Discography

Publishers




Biography

Thomas Beversdorf was born at Yoakum, Texas on August 8, 1924 and died early at age 57 on February 15, 1981. He began studying piano at age six, and at seven, baritone horn with his father, a band director in Yoakum. He started playing trombone in high school, also under the guidance of his father. Beversdorf graduated high school when he was sixteen. Between age 6 and 16 he also studied horn, saxophone, cello, and clarinet which provided a large sampling of orchestral instruments for his tutelege.

In 1941, Beversdorf went to Baylor University on a full scholarship. In 1942, he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied composition with Kent Kennan, Eric DeLemarter, and Anthony Donato. He finished his BM degree (cum laude) in Theory and Composition in August 1945. Beversdorf went to the Eastman School of Music that fall, studying composition with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson, and trombone with Emory Remington. He received his MM in theory and composition in Spring 1946.

In the summer of 1947, Beversdorf studied composition with Aaron Copland and Arthur Honegger at Tanglewood, and privately with Anis Fuleihan. Fuleihan was teaching at IU in the fall of 1950 and until 1952; Beversdorf apparently got his doctorate in near zero time from IU under Fuleihan. Beversdorf played trombone with the Rochester Philharmonic from 1945 to 1946 and the Houston Symphony from 1946 to 1948, and bass trombone in the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1948 to 1949. He was an instructor at the University of Houston from 1946 to 1948. In 1951, he joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music as a professor of trombone and composition. Amongst other things, he wrote Three Epitaphs for Brass Quartet, which appears larger than life painted on the west outside wall of Smith-Holden Music Store at 222 W. Kirkwood Avenue, in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. The mural was created in 1976. George Holden now owns and manages the store with his son, Mark Holden. He was a much respected professor of the Holden's as he was of Julian Livingston who also studied composition and orchestration with Beversdorf.

Selected Compositions

Opera and Ballet

Threnody:  The Funeral of Youth (1963)
The Hooligan (1969)
Metamorphosis (Kafka) (1968)
Vision of Christ (1971)

Orchestral 

Essay on Mass Production (1946)
Symphony No. 1 (1946)
Violin Concerto: Danforth (1959)
Murals, Tapestries, and Icons (1975)
Concerto for Tuba and Wind Orchestra (1976)

Choral 

The Rock, and Oratorio (1959)
3 Fold Amen; 4 Fold Amen (1969)
Mini-Motet from Micah (1972)

Chamber 

Cathedral Music for Brass Choir (1966)
Divertimento da camera (1970)
Of Walruses, Cheesecake, and Morse Code (1972)
Sonata for Violin and Harp (1977)
Corelliana Variations (1980) 

Selected Discography

Four American Sonatas for French Horn - Tantara Records, 1999

Publishers

Southern Music Company