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Martin Halpern

(October 3, 1929 – September 10, 2023)
Member from 2005-2023

MARTIN HALPERN holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Rochester, a Ph.D. in English from Harvard University, and an M.A in Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College (1997), where his chief mentors were Thea Musgrave, Bruce Saylor and Leo Kraft. After a long, productive career as playwright, poet and educator, Mr. Halpern retired in 1994 from his position as Professor of Playwriting and Dramatic Literature at Brandeis University to devote himself full-time to what had long been a part-time occupation: music composition. Since then there have been more than fifty performances in the New York area of his art songs for various voices and instruments and his chamber works for various string and woodwind combinations, including the first of his four string quartets which appears on the Meridian Quartet’s CD Diverse Light, released by Capstone Records in 2001. Of the six chamber operas Mr. Halpern has written, “The Boy from Deerfield” was produced by the Lark Ascending Company in 2000; “The Satin Cloak” was produced by the Operaworks Company in 2001 and by Downtown Music Productions in 2004; “The Inseparables” was given a concert reading at Brandeis House in 2003; “The Scaffolding” was produced at the Theater for the New City in 2005; and “Odysseus and Ajax”, a puppet-theater production, was performed at the LaMama Experimental Theater Club in April 2006. For each of these operas, Mr. Halpern composed both the libretto and the score. Mr. Halpern is a member of ASCAP, from which he has received eight ASCAPLUS awards; the Long Island Composers Alliance, in which he has been Concerts Director since 1997; the Society of Composers, Inc.; the American Composers Forum; and the New York Composers Circle. He has been awarded Meet the Composer grants for his participation in concerts at several New York and Long Island venues.

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