Mel Powell

PowellMel D. Powell
Mel Powell (born Melvin Epstein) (February 12, 1923 – April 24, 1998) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, and the founding dean of the music department at the California Institute of the Arts.wikipedia
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California Institute of the Arts

CalArtsCal ArtsCalifornia Institute for the Arts
Mel Powell (born Melvin Epstein) (February 12, 1923 – April 24, 1998) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, and the founding dean of the music department at the California Institute of the Arts. He served as a music educator for over 40 years, first at Mannes College of Music and Queens College, then Yale University, and finally at CalArts.
Subsequently, Blau was instrumental in hiring a number of professionals like Mel Powell (dean of the School of Music), Paul Brach (dean of the School of Art), Alexander Mackendrick (dean of the School of Film/Video), sociologist Maurice R. Stein (dean of Critical Studies), and Richard Farson (dean of the School of Design; now integrated in the Art school as the Graphic Design program), as well as other influential program heads and teachers such as Stephan von Huene, Allan Kaprow, Bella Lewitzky, Michael Asher, Jules Engel, John Baldessari, Judy Chicago, Ravi Shankar, Max Kozloff, Miriam Shapiro, Douglas Huebler, Morton Subotnick, Norman M. Klein and Nam June Paik most of whom largely came from a counterculture and avant-garde side of the art world.

Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman OrchestraBenny Goodman and His OrchestraBenny Goodman Quartet
Powell dreamed of life as a concert pianist until his older brother took him to see jazz pianist Teddy Wilson play, and later to a concert featuring Benny Goodman.
Pianist Mel Powell was also an adviser in 1945.

A Song Is Born

musical
In 1948 he played himself in the movie A Song Is Born, appearing along with many other famous jazz players, including Louis Armstrong.
Other notable musicians playing themselves in the cast include Charlie Barnet (with Harry Babasin as cameo), Mel Powell, Louis Bellson, The Golden Gate Quartet, Russo and the Samba Kings, The Page Cavanaugh Trio, and Buck and Bubbles.

Paul Hindemith

HindemithHindemith, Paul[Paul] Hindemith
In 1948 he enrolled at the Yale School of Music, where he studied with German composer and music theorist Paul Hindemith and received a B.M. degree in 1952.
He had such notable students as Lukas Foss, Graham George, Norman Dello Joio, Mitch Leigh, Mel Powell, Yehudi Wyner, Harold Shapero, Hans Otte, Ruth Schönthal, Samuel Adler, Leonard Sarason, and Oscar-winning film director George Roy Hill.

Martha Scott

It was during his time in Hollywood that he met and married actress Martha Scott.
Martha Scott was twice-married, first to radio producer and announcer Carleton William Alsop from 1940 to 1946, and then to jazz pianist and composer Mel Powell from 1946 until his death in 1998.

Yale School of Music

School of MusicYaleYale University
In 1948 he enrolled at the Yale School of Music, where he studied with German composer and music theorist Paul Hindemith and received a B.M. degree in 1952.

Duplicates: A Concerto

Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra
In 1990 Powell received his highest career achievement, the Pulitzer Prize in Music, for his work Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.
Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra is a concerto for two pianos and orchestra by the American composer Mel Powell.

Anthony Brandt

Brandt, Anthony
Notable students include the composers Ann Millikan and Anthony Brandt.
On his return, he enrolled in the California Institute of the Arts where he studied composition under Mel Powell and received his M.A. in 1987.

Ann Millikan

Notable students include the composers Ann Millikan and Anthony Brandt.
She studied music at San Jose State University, where she graduated with a BA. She went on to graduate with a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts where she studied with Morton Subotnick, Mel Powell and Stephen Mosko.

Gumbasia

In 1954 he recorded the jazz album Thigamigig, including a piano/trumpet/drums track that was selected by Art Clokey for his claymation short Gumbasia in 1955.

Pulitzer Prize for Music

MusicPulitzer PrizePulitzer Prize in Music
In 1990 Powell received his highest career achievement, the Pulitzer Prize in Music, for his work Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.

Howard Alden

In 1987, Powell joined other music greats for a jazz festival on the cruise ship SS Norway, playing alongside Benny Carter, Howard Alden, Milt Hinton, Louie Bellson and others.

Louie Bellson

Louis BellsonBellsonLouie Bellson Orchestra
In 1987, Powell joined other music greats for a jazz festival on the cruise ship SS Norway, playing alongside Benny Carter, Howard Alden, Milt Hinton, Louie Bellson and others.

Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer PrizesPulitzerPulitzer-Prize
Mel Powell (born Melvin Epstein) (February 12, 1923 – April 24, 1998) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, and the founding dean of the music department at the California Institute of the Arts.

Composer

music composercomposedmusic
Mel Powell (born Melvin Epstein) (February 12, 1923 – April 24, 1998) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, and the founding dean of the music department at the California Institute of the Arts.

Mannes School of Music

Mannes College of MusicMannes College The New School for MusicMannes College
He served as a music educator for over 40 years, first at Mannes College of Music and Queens College, then Yale University, and finally at CalArts.

Queens College, City University of New York

Queens CollegeQueens College of the City University of New YorkQueens College, CUNY
He served as a music educator for over 40 years, first at Mannes College of Music and Queens College, then Yale University, and finally at CalArts.

Yale University

YaleYale CollegeUniversity of Yale
He served as a music educator for over 40 years, first at Mannes College of Music and Queens College, then Yale University, and finally at CalArts.

Jazz

jazz musicContemporary jazzModern Jazz
During his early career he worked as a jazz pianist.

The Bronx

BronxBronx, New YorkThe Bronx, New York
Mel Powell was born Melvin D. Epstein on February 12, 1923, in The Bronx, New York City to Russian Jewish parents, Milton Epstein and Mildred Mark Epstein.

History of the Jews in Russia

Russian JewishRussian-JewishRussian Jews
Mel Powell was born Melvin D. Epstein on February 12, 1923, in The Bronx, New York City to Russian Jewish parents, Milton Epstein and Mildred Mark Epstein.

Nadia Reisenberg

He began playing piano at age four, taking lessons from, among others, Nadia Reisenberg.

Yankee Stadium

New Yankee StadiumNew YorkA
A passionate baseball fan, his home was within sight of Yankee Stadium.

Teddy Wilson

Teddy Wilson QuartetTeddy Wilson TrioThe Teddy Wilson Trio
Powell dreamed of life as a concert pianist until his older brother took him to see jazz pianist Teddy Wilson play, and later to a concert featuring Benny Goodman.

The New Yorker

New YorkerNew Yorker MagazineThe New Yorker Magazine
In a 1987 interview with The New Yorker magazine Powell said "I had never heard anything as ecstatic as this music", prompting a shift from classical to jazz piano.