Obituary: Composer Stephen Paulus, 65

Posted on: October 21, 2014

In Monday’s (10/20) Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce reports the death of Stephen Paulus, “the Minnesota composer whose work ranged from the [1982] opera ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ to the [2005] Holocaust oratorio ‘To Be Certain of the Dawn,’ ” on Sunday at age 65. He had “suffered a severe stroke on July 4, 2013 at his lake home and never recovered the full use of his faculties.” Paulus “enjoyed an international reputation … serving as composer-in-residence at the Minnesota Orchestra as well as symphonies in Atlanta, Tucson and Annapolis, Md. He also co-founded the American Composers Forum and ran a nationwide music publishing business” from his home in St. Paul. Paulus was “particularly known for his choral work.” With his son Greg, he “wrote a jazz-infused piece to open the 2011 Minnesota Orchestra season and music director Osmo Vänskä commented at the time that, ‘I have seen scores … where everything is impractical. Stephen knows how to get the best results for his ideas.’ ” Paulus grew up in Minnesota, attended the University of Minnesota, and was named composer-in-residence at the Minnesota Orchestra in 1983. In 1988 he took the same post at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where then-Music Director Robert Shaw “indulged his passion for choral music by commissioning many works from Paulus.”

Posted October 21, 2014