New PARMA Artist: Deems Taylor

Deems Taylor as the narrator in Disney’s Fantasia (1940)

PARMA is pleased to announce that prolific American composer Deems Taylor has joined our roster of artists.

Deems Taylor (1885-1966) was one of the most prominent American composers in the early 20th century. A contemporary of George Gershwin and Jerome Kern, Deems’ music has been performed all around the world.

One of his most well-known works is “Through the Looking Glass,” a suite based on the novel by Lewis Carroll that has been performed by many notable conductors and ensembles, including Willem Mengelberg with the New York Philharmonic and Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In addition to his work as a composer, Deems was also a music critic, author, and radio personality. He is widely recognized for his role as the original narrator in Disney’s Fantasia (pictured above). From 1942-1948 Deems was also the third president of ASCAP, who has an annual award named after him that recognizes excellence in books, articles, broadcasts, and websites about music.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Deems’ passing, we will be recording and releasing “Three Century Suite” as a digital single on Navona Records in 2016. “Three Century Suite” received its lone performance at Interlochen, MI in 1960 and hasn’t been performed or recorded since, so we’re excited to help get this music heard by the audience it deserves through this project.

We’ll be hitting the studio this summer, but in the meantime, you can learn more about Deems on his website, and you can hear his work by checking out the Columbia Broadcasting Symphony’s recording of “Through the Looking Glass” via the YouTube player below. Stay tuned!

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