Arthur Cunningham

1928-1997

Clare Longendyke.jpg

Arthur Cunningham (born Piermont, New York on November 11, 1928, died Nyack, New York on March 31, 1997) was an American composer.

Cunningham began writing music at the age of 12 to be performed with his jazz band. He attended Fisk University (BA 1951), Juilliard, (1951–1952) and Columbia University's Teachers College, attaining his Master's in 1957. The National Association of Negro Musicians gave a concert of his works in 1951. Cunningham served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957 and wrote music for army bands, as well as for television.

Cunningham wrote seven large-scale works for the stage between 1963 and 1973, mixing many styles of popular music including jazz, gospel and rock. Some of his words are similar to, and predate, rock opera.

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