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Composer David Diamond dies at 89

Composer David Diamond dies at 89

Openly gay David Diamond, a major U.S. composer known for his melodic and lyrical style, has died at the age of 89, classical music publisher Peer Music said on Wednesday. It said Diamond, described by Leonard Bernstein as "a vital branch in the stream of American music," died on Monday in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. Among Diamond's most popular works was the 1944 Rounds for String Orchestra, and his output included 11 symphonies and 10 string quartets as well as songs and film scores. After experiencing early success in the 1940s, Diamond's style fell out of favor as atonal music began to gain ground, but he enjoyed renewed interest in his music toward the end of his life. In a 1990 interview with The New York Times, Diamond said he felt his style had been vindicated by time. "I don't look back in anger because I feel that I've won the battle. The others have disappeared." Diamond was born on July 9, 1915, in Rochester and studied in New York before moving to Paris in the 1930s. He became a professor of composition at the Juilliard School in New York in 1973 and continued teaching well into the 1990s. He won several lifetime awards including the National Medal of Arts in 1995, and his Symphony No. 11 (1989-91) was one of a few major works commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in celebration of its 150th anniversary. (Reuters)

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