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Biography

Paul Creston (born Giuseppe Guttoveggio October 10, 1906 in New York City – died August 24, 1985 in San Diego, California) was an American composer of classical music.

Born in New York City, Creston was self‐taught as a composer. He was an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, initiated into the national honorary Alpha Alpha chapter. His work tends to be fairly conservative in style, firmly tonal (as opposed to atonal) in style, and with a strong rhythmic element. His pieces include six symphonies, a number of concertos, including two for violin, one for marimba, one for two pianos, one for accordion and one for alto saxophone, a fantasia for trombone and orchestra (composed for and premiered by Robert Marsteller), and a Rapsodie again for alto saxophone - written for famous virtuoso Jean-Marie Londeix. He also wrote a sonata for alto saxophone (dedicated to Cecil Leeson). Several of his works were inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman. Creston was the most performed American composer of the 1940s.

Several of Creston's works have become staples of the wind band repetoire. Zanoni, Prelude and Dance, and the Celebration Overture have been and still are on several state lists for contests across the USA.

Creston was also a notable teacher, with the composers John Corigliano and Charles Roland Berry, accordionist/composer William Schimmel and the jazz musicians Rusty Dedrick and Charlie Queener among his pupils. He wrote the theoretical books Principles of Rhythm (1964) and Rational Metric Notation (1979).

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