Portland Youth Philharmonic
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR664     Release Date: 2007-01-01

Portland Youth Philharmonic; Jacob Avshalomov, conductor; Neil Wilson, baritone; Portland Symphonic Choir, Frank Holman, director


Jacob Avshalomov was born in 1919 in Tsingtao, China, of an American mother and a Siberian father, the composer Aaron Avshalomov. The young Avshalomov received early musical instruction from his father, and he was educated at American and British schools in China before working in factories in Tientsin, Shanghai, and Peiping. In 1937, he returned to the United States with his mother. He subsequently studied in Los Angeles with Ernst Toch, and spent two years in Portland, Oregon, at Reed College in the Junior Symphony (now the Portland Youth Philharmonic), studying with the conductor Gershkovitch. He subsequently studied composition and orchestration at the Eastman School of Music with Bernard Rogers.

Roy Harris (1898-1979) was born and raised on a farm in Oklahoma. He studied in California at Berkeley and UCLA, and privately with Arthur Farwell. At the MacDowell Colony in 1926, he met Copland, who encouraged him to study with Boulanger. Harris subsequently worked under her tutelage from 1927 to 1929. Harris’s first national recognition came through Koussevitzky, who premiered his Symphony No. 1. He went on to write thirteen symphonies, the most popular being No. 3, and the last of which was written for the American bicentennial in 1976. On account of his large catalogue of works for orchestra, band, chamber, and vocal ensembles, and because of his numerous teaching positions at universities across the country, Harris became an important figure in the establishment of an American music.

Robert Ward was born in 1917 in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the Eastman School of Music and majored in composition under Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. Later, at the Juilliard School, he studied composition with Frederick Jacobi and conducting with Albert Stoessel and Edgar Schenkman. He also worked with Aaron Copland at the Berkshire Music Center. Ward has held a number of important positions as a music educator and administrator, including music director of the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York, and President of the American Composers Alliance. Ward’s most widely performed work is the opera The Crucible which won the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Music Critic’s Circle Award in 1962.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Portland Youth Philharmonic

Portland Youth Philharmonic

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Phases of The Great Land: I. The Long Night; Klondike Fever
Jacob Avshalomov
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Phases of The Great Land: II. The Summer Days; Anchorage Aloft
Jacob Avshalomov
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Elegy and Dance
Roy Harris
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Divertimento for Orchestra: I. Fanfare and Allegro
Robert Ward
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Divertimento for Orchestra: II. Intermezzo
Robert Ward
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Divertimento for Orchestra: III. Finale: Vivace
Robert Ward
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Cantata: How Long Oh Lord
Jacob Avshalomov
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