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Special Collections: John MacIvor Perkins


Contents

Biographical Sketch


John MacIvor Perkins Born Aug. 2, 1935, in St. Louis, Perkins graduated from John Burroughs School in 1953 and in 1958 earned both a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University and a bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

In 1962, Perkins earned a master of fine arts degree from Brandeis University. He spent several years on faculty at the University of Chicago, but, in 1965, he returned to Harvard, where he taught for the next five years.

Perkins came to Washington University in 1970 as an associate professor of music, and he also served as chair of music until 1976. His scholarly interests ranged from 20th-century serial music and rhythmic notation to the works of composers Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern and Luigi Dallapiccola.

Perkin’s own compositions include approximately three dozen works, ranging from one-act operas and songs for voice and piano to various compositions for orchestra, chorus, chamber groups and solo piano.

His numerous honors included a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship and the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters Award as well as commissions from Harvard’s Fromm Music Foundation, the New Music Circle of St. Louis, concert pianist Easley Blackwood and the Smithsonian Institution, among others.

Perkins retired in 2001, though he continued to teach composition and counterpoint tutorials. To mark his retirement, the Department of Music hosted a concert “Celebrating the Music of John MacIvor Perkins” in Edison Theatre. More recently, the Washington University Symphony Orchestra premiered a new work by Perkins, After and Before, as part of its 2004 Chancellor’s Concert.
-Liam Otten

John MacIvor Perkins, composer, pianist and professor emeritus in the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, died Nov. 12, 2010.

List of manuscripts

Note: Manuscript titles are transcribed from the items themselves and are not necessarily consistent throughout the list.
-compiled 3/10/11 by David Chapman

  • After a Silence for string quartet and tape (1972):
    • 2 gathers (1 pencil MS, 56 p.
    • 1 pencil reduced sketch, [26] p.)
    • 1 folded page (pencil title page)
    • 1 score (56 p.)
    • 1 ozalid transparency score and parts
    • 12 printed parts
  • After and Before : music for orchestra (2003):
    • 1 score (pencil MS)
    • 1 spiral-bound score (43 cm.; copy of MS; marked “conductor” on t.p. in pencil)
    • 2 spiral-bound scores (35 cm.; copies of MS; marked “Composer’s copy” on t.p. on pencil)
    • 81 parts (heavy stock)
    • ½ in. of sketch material
    • ½ in. of printed proofs (parts)
    • 1 page of program notes
  • Alleluia [unaccompanied] (1966): 1 copy of MS
  • Alleluia [accompanied] (1971): 1 composite MS
  • Andrea del Sarto [alt title: The Faultless Painter, An Unfinished Self-Portrait: operatic monologue in one act; words adapted from a poem by Robert Browning]:
    • 6 gathers (2 pencil MSS of vocal score + 1 ink MS double bass part + 1 ink MS piano/celeste part + 1 choral MS with copies + 1 libretto and sketch under the title Faultless Painter with note from HB [Harold Blumenfeld?])
    • 7 bound copies of vocal score (1 marked “Edmund LeRoy’s copy” + 1 marked ‘composer’s copy”)
    • 3 bound copies of full orchestral copy (1 marked “conductor’s copy” + 1 with insert labeled “composer’s copy”)
    • 2 bound copies of piano/celeste part
    • 0.25 in. typewritten and copied pages (composite libretto + program notes)
    • 1 wire-bound notebook (with pencil sketches and copies of libretto inserts)
    • 0.5 in. ozalid parts (clarinet + flute + bassoon + horn + violin + viola + cello)
    • 11 bound parts (flute + clarinet + bassoon + horn + violin 1 + violin 2 + viola + viola 2 + cello 1 + cello 2 + double-bass)
    • 1 ozalid full score
    • 1 copy of libretto (7 p. with edits in ink)
  • Cadenza for solo piano (1978):
    • 2 gathers (pencil MSS)
    • 2 copies of program notes (1 handwritten ink + 1 typewritten)
  • Canzona for harpsichord and piano (1982):
    • 1 gather (pencil MS)
    • 1 spiral-bound copy of MS
    • 1 comb-bound copy of MS
    • 27 p. of music (printed proof of notated score with red pencil markup)
  • Caprice for piano (1963):
    • 1 gather (pencil MS, 24 p.)
    • 1 folded p. (discarded wrap?)
    • 2 comb-bound score (24 p.)
  • Divertimento : opera buffa in one act (1959):
    • 1 ozalid fair copy (95 p.)
    • 1 spiral-bound copies of same
  • Divisions for gamba and harpsichord (1982): 1 gather (pencil MS, 14 p.)
  • Fantasy for piano (1959): 1 gather (6 p., pencil MS) [see also Fantasy, Intermezzo, and Variations]
  • Fantasy (1959), Intermezzo (1962), and Variations for piano (1960): 1 comb-bound score (combined score, each part individually paginated)
  • Fantasy and Variations for large orchestra:
    • 3 gathers (2 pencil MSS [1 per mvt.]
    • 1 reverse fair copy of Variations)
    • 1 ozalid transparency
  • Intermezzo for piano (1962): 2 gathers (2 pencil MSS) [see also Fantasy, Intermezzo, and Variations]
  • Lyric Variations (1989):
    • 3 bound scores (1 labeled "Composer's Copy")
    • 1 violin part (12 p. of music)
    • 1 gather (pencil MS)
  • Three Miniatures (1960): 3 bound copies of MS (2 comb-bound + 1 taped board)
  • Five Miniatures (1960, rev. 1972):
    • 1 gather (pencil MS)
    • 3 comb-bound scores (labeled in pencil: violin 2 + viola + cello)
    • 1 tape reel
  • Music for Brass (1965): 2 gathers (1 pencil MS + 1 copy of same)
  • Music for Carillon (1963): 1 gather (pencil MS)
  • Music for Orchestra (1965):
    • 64 parts
    • 2 bound scores (1 labeled "Carvalho markings")
    • 1 gather (33 p., pencil MS)
  • Music for Piano (1963): 1 ozalid transparencies (24 p.)
  • Music for Thirteen Players (1964, rev. 1966):
    • 1 gather (pencil MSS [p. 8-90 missing])
    • 1 copy of score (90 p.)
    • 18 parts
    • 1 copy of program notes (3 p.)
  • Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (1962):
    • 2 gathers (1 pencil MS + 1 copy of MS with corrections)
  • Offering for flute and piano (2005):
    • 2 scores (pencil MS, 3 p.)
    • 1 copy of MS (heavy stock, marked “corrections” of t.p.)
    • 1 leaf (pencil sketches)
  • Quartet (1984):
    • 4 gathers (ink MSS of violin 1 & 2, viola, and cello)
    • 6 comb-bound scores (tape + violin 1 + violin 2 + viola + 2 cello parts)
  • Quintet Variations (1962):
    • 2 ozalid translucent MSS (1 piano part + 1 instr. part)
    • 3 gathers (1 neg + 1 pos reproduction + 1 reverse pos print) [MSS and gathers are not identical, though both are dated 1962: separate movements?]
  • Reflections on a Bach Fugue for flute and piano (1994):
    • [29] p. of music (17 p. of pencil MS + [12] p. of pencil sketches])
    • 1 part (copy of MS in single gather)
    • 1 score (copy of MS in single gather)
    • 1 spiral-bound part
    • 1 spiral-bound score
  • Robert’s Return: 1 gather (pencil sketch)
  • Sequence (1986) for brass quintet:
    • 1 pencil MS score (29 cm. x 35 cm.)
    • 1 copy of MS score
    • 6 p. pencil sketches
    • 3 parts (copies of MS, trumpets + horn + trombone and tuba)
    • 3 copies of premiere program (at St. Martin in the Fields, dated 2/1987)
    • + 2 typewritten program notes with corrections in pencil
  • Snowflakes (2006):
    • 2 gathers (1 score + 1 part)
    • 2 copies of text
    • 2 spiral-bound copies of score (1 labeled "Composer's Copy")
    • 2 copies of flute part (6 p. ea., heavy-stock)
  • String Quartet (1960): 17 p. of music (reverse ozalid print)
  • Five Songs: 7 leaves (pencil MSS) + 15 p. of music (pencil final)
  • Four Songs of Transience (1987): 2 bound scores (1 labeled "Composer's Copy")
    • In the Fir Forest (1987) - 5 proof prints with corrections + 6 p. of sketches + 1 pencil MS
    • Kyoto at the Detached Palace (1984) - 1 bound score with markings + 2 copies of MS + 1 proof print with corrections + 1 ink composite MS + 1 pencil sketch
    • Strike, churl (1959) … - 3 proof prints with corrections + 1 pencil MS + 1 copy of MS
    • That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection (1987) - 3 copies of MS (16 p. ea.) (incl. 1 labeled "Composer's Copy" + 1 with corrections) + 1 pencil MS + 6 p. of sketches
  • Three Studies for Chamber Chorus: Peace Be Still: 1 gather (pencil MS)
  • Theme and Variations for piano: 1 gather (pencil MS)
  • Tom Pringle (1961):
    • 2 gathers (1 pencil MS + 1 copy of same)
    • 1 ozalid transparency
  • Variations for Five Players (1962): 1 comb-bound copy of MS
  • Variations [for piano] (1960): 1 gather (pencil MS) [see also Fantasy, Intermezzo, and Variations]

  • 4.5 in. of miscellaneous (unidentified) sketches, manuscripts
  • 2 folders of miscellaneous writings and printed materials
    • Folder 1:
      • metric modulation slide rule and extra parts
      • 2 offprints of Perkins’ Perspectives of New Music 1.2 (Spring 1963) article “Dallipiccola’s art of canon”
      • 3 offprints of Perkins’ Perspectives of New Music 3.2 (Spring-Summer 1965) article “Note Values”
      • 1 offprint of Perkins’ Perspectives of New Music 5.1 (Fall-Winter 1966) article “Arthur Berger: The Composer as Mannerist”
      • 1 leaf (“Talking Sheet” for “Perkins ‘Farewell Concert’)
      • 1 folder containing CV (dated 9/27/94)
    • Folder 2:
      • 12 programs
        • 2 Composer’s Concert programs (dated 9/27/1981)
        • “An Evening of Words and Music” (dated 4/26/1985)
        • “An Evening of Words and Music” (dated 11/13/1986)
        • 3 copies of “New Music for Brass” (dated 2/4/1987)
        • River Styx PM Series (datred 4/12/1987)
        • draft for Perkins concert (dated 9/29/2001)
        • “Celebrating the Music of John MacIvor Perkins” (dated 9/29/2001)
        • “A Concert of Chamber Music by Washington University Composers” (dated 2/29/2004)
        • 2004 Chancellor’s Concert (dated 4/25/2004)
      • CD liner notes proof
      • 1 notice of travelling fellowship from Harvard (dated 6/2/1958)
      • WUSTL Music department poster
      • 4 vocal scores (Alleluia for Mixed Chorus, unaccompanied (1971) -- t.p. “Words and Music: The Composer’s View--A Medley of Problems and Solutions Compiled in Honor of G. Wallace Woodworth by Sundry Hands”)
      • unknown score for full orchestra