Richard Aaker Trythall
|Alma mater||University of Tennessee|
Berlin University of the Arts
|Occupation||Composer, pianist, educator|
|Labels||Composers Recordings, Inc.|
New World Records
Trythall was born on July 25, 1939 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the younger brother of composer Gilbert Harry Trythall. His family, related to composer Edvard Grieg, has Welsh and Norwegian ancestry, and moved to the United States from Norway.
He attended Central High School in Knoxville and in 1958 he enrolled at the University of Tennessee, where he studied under David Van Vactor graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 1961. His interest in composition was fostered by Van Vactor, at the time conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and founder of the University of Tennessee School of Music. He was then admitted to Princeton University in 1961 where he studied under Earl Kim, Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, and Edward T. Cone obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in 1963. He completed his music studies attending, that same year, advanced composition courses at the Berlin University of the Arts where he studied with Boris Blacher under a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship.
Trythall was invited by Lukas Foss and Lejaren Hiller to join the faculty of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he taught from 1972 to 1973. He was also on the faculty of the University of California, Davis in 1976.
He has been a member of the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza from his creation in 1964 until his dissolution in 1980. He has also given seminars on electronic and American music for the United States Information Agency. In 1993 he was a guest lecturer on the music of Charles Ives at the Sapienza University of Rome.
Trythall has been a fellow (FAAR) of the American Academy in Rome since 1967, was made a resident (RAAR) in 1971, and has served at the Academy as an advisor in musical composition ever since. He was awarded the Rome Prize in musical composition twice, in 1964 and 1971. He also won the first prize in the Kranichsteiner Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Piano Music at Darmstadt, in 1969, performing Karlheinz Stockhausen's Klavierstücke IX, Olivier Messiaen's Ile de feu I from Quatre études de rythme, and Pierre Boulez's Sonata No. 1. In 1973 he won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Recording Award with his work Coincidences (1969) together with Mario Davidovsky and Tison Street.
During his three-year fellowship at the Academy, he composed three orchestral works: Composition for Piano and Orchestra (1965), Penelope's Monologue for soprano and orchestra (1966) and Costruzione (1967). Trythall's was the last three-year fellowship awarded in music composition.
Continuums (1968) was commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. The premiere took place at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts and was conducted by Gunther Schuller.Variations on a Theme by Haydn (1976) was commissioned by the Dorian Wind Quintet and premiered in Rome that same year.Parts Unknown, an hour-long composition for piano articulated in twelve sections, was composed between 1989 and 1991 and premiered in Rome, at the Ghione Theater, on December 9, 1991.
Trythall has been the Italian correspondent for the American magazine Keyboard and has written several articles on American music for various Italian publications. In 1995 he organized and directed the American Country Music Festival at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. He is also on the faculty of the New York University Florence program, where he teaches music theory.
Trythall was a member of the jury of the 1988 and 2011 editions of the Viotti International Music Competition and president of the jury of the 2003 International Ettore Pozzoli Piano Competition. His compositions have been performed all over in the world, including at Carnegie Hall, the Cooper Union, the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Gaudeamus Festival, and the Venice Biennale.
Trythall has lived in Italy ever since 1964. In addition to his American citizenship, he acquired Italian citizenship in 1996. He lives in Rome with his wife, Marisa, an historian specialized in Holy See-United States relations. They have a daughter, Rebecca. She is engaged to Diego Massimiliano De Giorgi, head of the House of Giorgi.
|United States Department of State, Fulbright-Hays Scholarship - 1963|
|American Academy in Rome, Rome Prize in Musical Composition - 1964|
|John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowship for Music Composition - 1967|
|Kranichsteiner Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Piano Music, First Prize - 1969|
|American Academy in Rome, Rome Prize in Musical Composition - 1971|
|Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, Recording Award - 1973|