Hanson grew up as the son of Swedish immigrants in a small Lutheran church in Nebraska. He studied in New York piano.
A teaching assignment took him to Illinois, where he was barely twenty years old graduated from Northwestern University. Two years later, he took a teaching post at the Conservatory of Fine Arts in California, where he taught music theory and composition, and in 1921 became dean. In the same year he became the first American to win the Prix de Rome ( for his ballet Californian Forest Play).
Hanson then lived for three years in Rome. Towards the end of the time he met the entrepreneur George Eastman, the founder of the renowned Eastman School of Music. The meeting proved to be fateful, for it was followed by a call to the University as head of the music department. From 1924 to 1964 Hanson headed the Institute.
Hanson received significant awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his fourth symphony in the course of his life. In Hanson's musical language flow a romantic attitude with the flair of the American northern states as well as a hint of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Europe, in particular Jean Sibelius, together.
Howard Hanson's work as a conductor was obliged not only to his own compositions. As director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (New York), and as chief conductor of the Eastman Rochester Orchestra, he often led other American composers, including Samuel Barber, John Alden Carpenter, Morton Gould, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, John Knowles Paine, Walter Piston and William Grant Still. Some of it has been preserved on vinyl or CD, of particular importance are his recordings for the label Mercury Records.
An excerpt from his Symphony No. 2 ( " Romantic " ) was used as a soundtrack in the final and credits of the science fiction movie Alien - The mysterious creature from another world.
Works for Orchestra
Works for wind
Vocal and Choral Music
- Composer of classical music ( 20th century)
- American composer
- Composer ( brass bands )
- Pulitzer Prize winner
- Born 1896
- Died in 1981