JohnD.CarterJohn Daniels Carter (1932-1981)

A Biographical and Musical Profile with Original Piano Transcription of
Requiem Seditiosam: In Memoriam Medgar Evers

African-American pianist and composer John Daniels Carter (1932-1981) is widely recognized for his Cantata for voice and piano (also arranged for voice and orchestra), Carter’s only published work.  However, relatively little information has been published about Carter’s life, his compositional output, or career as a pianist. His date of birth and death are often listed incorrectly; the last decade of his life remains undocumented.  There is also confusion in the database of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) regarding the attributions of his unpublished compositions, compounded by the existence of another composer who has arranged several spirituals, and a jazz clarinetist, both named John Carter.

In-depth field research, over a three-year period, was conducted to discover more information about Carter. Through newspaper articles, archival material from the Kennedy Center/Rockefeller Archives, and conversations or correspondence with those who knew Carter personally, this dissertation presents biographical information about Carter’s musical education, performance activity as a pianist, and career as a composer-in-residence with the Washington National Symphony.  Information is provided about Carter’s other works.  Included are historical reviews of Carter’s piano performances, his orchestral work, Requiem Seditiosam: In Memoriam Medgar Evers, and his vocal works including Saetas Profanas and the Cantata, performed by singers such as Leontyne Price, William Warfield, Adele Addison, and George Shirley.  The author’s original piano solo transcription of Requiem Seditiosam: In Memoriam Medgar Evers and brief musical notes about the Cantata and Saetas Profanas (for voice and piano) are provided.  Appendices include a listing of live performances of Carter’s music, a recorded discography, a chronology of his life, and a score of Saetas Profanas.

Click on a link below to read more:

  1. Abstract
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Complete Dissertation

Dr. Robards is available for lectures and lecture recitals. Write to Dr. Robards at caseyrobards@gmail.com for more information.

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