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Studied at Eastman School and with Bartók in New York City * Since 1950 has composed ten operas in the American vernacular tradition * Stage works combine keen sense of irony with penetrating psychological insight *Style is wide-ranging, with musical language adapting to realise distinctive mood, character or emotion * Most of his operas are based on American history and literature * Wit and lyrical gifts come to the fore in operatic numbers, songs and choral works * Taught at Columbia University for five decades

Works by Jack Beeson include:
Hello Out There (1954) Chamber opera in one act
The Sweet Bye and Bye (1956) Opera in two acts
Lizzie Borden (1965) A family portrait in three acts
Cyrano (1990) Heroic comedy in music

"Few contemporary American composers have grappled with the problems of composing for the opera stage as long and as hard as has Jack Beeson, whose works have been staged, televised, revived, and recorded with uncommon frequency and success." — Music Educators Journal

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