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Miriam Gideon

Miriam Gideon took inspiration for her compositions from great poetry and Jewish prayers, earning acclaim as the second woman inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1976. Gideon studied music privately with Hans Barth and Roger Sessions, among others, before earning degrees from Boston University and Columbia. From 1944–1955 she taught courses at Brooklyn College, the City University of New York, and City College before joining the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s new cantorial school in 1955. In 1970 she earned a doctorate of sacred music from the Jewish Theological Seminary. From 1967–1991, she taught at the Manhattan School of Music. Gideon’s compositions ranged from vocal solos to chamber operas, and incorporated what she called “free atonality.” She set to music the poetry of Robert Burns, Heinrich Heine, Amy Lowell, and Christina Rossetti, among others. She also crafted choral and orchestral arrangements based on Jewish liturgy including Sacred Service (for soloists, mixed choir, flute, oboe, trumpet, bassoon, viola, cello, and organ), Shirat Miriam L’Shabbat (for tenor, mixed choir, fluete, oboe, trumpet, bassoon, viola, cello, and organ), and Eishet Hayil (for soprano and piano).

More on: Cantors
Date of Birth
October 23, 1906
Place of Birth
Greeley, Colorado
Date of Death
June 18, 1996

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Miriam Gideon ." (Viewed on November 14, 2018) <>.


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