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Ronald Perera Papers, 1941-[ongoing]
5 boxes (4 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
Papers include a small amount of biographical material on Perera, such as his career summary and resume, reviews, flyers and programs, photographs and newspaper articles. The majority of the materials are musical manuscripts of works by Perera.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to publish or perform original scores must be obtained from Mr. Perera, who still owns copyright to the music. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes only.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Ronald Perera was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 25, 1941. He received both his B.A. and M.A. from Harvard, where he studied composition with Leon Kirchner. From 1963 to 1965 he served as Operations Officer on an ocean mine sweeper, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant, USNR. In 1967, while on a John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship in Music from Harvard, Perera studied electronic music and computer composition with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. He also worked independently with Randall Thompson in choral music and with Mario Davidovsky in electronic music.

Perera's teaching experience includes two years at Syracuse University, where he taught music theory and held a research associateship in electronic music (1968-1970), a year as Acting Director of the Dartmouth College Electronic Music Studio (1970-71) and thirty-one years at Smith College (1971-2002) where he has taught music theory, composition and electronic music, and where he has held the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Chair in Music since 1983.

Ronald Perera's compositions include operas, song cycles, chamber, choral, and orchestral works, and several works for instruments or voices with electronic sounds. He is perhaps best known for his settings of texts by authors as diverse as Dickinson, Joyce, Grass, Sappho, Cummings, Shakespeare, Francis of Assisi, Melville, Ferlinghetti, Updike and Henry Beston. Seven major pieces are represented on recently released compact discs.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ronald Perera Papers contain materials spanning Parera's career. The size of the collection is 4 linear feet. The papers contain a small amount of general information on Perera, such as his career summary and resume, reviews, flyers and programs, photographs and newspaper articles. The majority of the materials are musical manuscripts of works by Perera.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to publish or perform original scores must be obtained from Mr. Perera, who still owns copyright to the music. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes only.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Ronald Perera Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The materials in the Ronald Perera Papers, which form part of 42. Faculty Biographical Files, were donated by Perera in 1996 and 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Gayla Spaulding


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
General



Career summary and resume
1986, 2002

Box 1: folder 1
Price listing: scores and recordings
1987

Box 1: folder 2
Reviews
1973-1994

Box 1: folder 3
Newspaper articles
1988-1996

Box 1: folder 4
Flyers and programs: The Outermost House and The Yellow Wallpaper
1989-1992

Box 1: folder 5
Photographs



Six of performance of The Yellow Wallpaper
1989

Box 1: folder 6
Two of Ronald Perera and students in the electronic music studio
1973, n.d.

Box 1
Four of Ronald Perera in studio
1988-1991

Box 1
Musical Manuscripts



The Yellow Wallpaper
n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
The Araboolies of Liberty Street
n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
Three Love Lyrics
n.d.

Box 1: folder 4
The Golden Door: for mixed chorus and chamber ensemble, full score
n.d.

Box 1: folder 5
Triptych: for organ
n.d.

Box 1: folder 6
The Golden Hymn: original manuscript
n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
Piano Suite: pencil original
1966

Box 1: folder 8
Did You Hear the Angels Sing?: adapted from the poem, "Christmas Carol" by Samuel H. Miller, pencil originals
n.d.

Box 1: folder 9
Summer Songs: Five songs on poems of Emily Dickinson for medium voice and piano pencil originals
n.d.

Box 1: folder 10
Apollo Circling: Four lyric songs for medium voice and piano on a poem by James Dickey
1971

Box 1: folder 11
Reflex: for viola and tape, pencil originals
1973

Box 2: folder 1
Three Night Pieces: for soprano, alto solo, women's chorus, solo cello, piano and percussion (one player)
1975

Box 2: folder 2
Fantasy Variations: for electronically prepared piano
1975

Box 2: folder 3
Crossing the Meridian: pencil originals
n.d.

Box 2: folder 4
The White Whale: theater music for baritone and orchestra; correspondence regarding score notes on suggested orchestra arrangement
n.d.

Box 2: folder 5
The Canticle of the Sun: for narrator, mixed chorus and digitally synthesized instruments (electronic tape)
1984

Box 2: folder 6
Sleep Now: songs for high voice and piano on poems of James Joyce
1986

Box 2: folder 7
Shakespeare Songs: for high voice and piano
1987

Box 2: folder 8
Five Meditations on Wondrous Love: for organ
1986

Box 2: folder 9
Sun's Rising: for organ
1986

Box 2: folder 10
Three Waltzes for Four Hands
1986

Box 2: folder 11
Sonatina for Viola and Piano
1986

Box 3: folder 1
Fanfare: for viola and piano
1986

Box 3: folder 2
Augmented Forces: to Ken Fearn and John van Buskirk
1987

Box 3: folder 3
Out of Shadow: for piano
1988

Box 3: folder 4
Music for Flute and Orchestra: sketch scene
1990

Box 3: folder 5
The Saints: three pieces for orchestra with audience participation pencil originals of sketch scene and full score
n.d.

Box 3: folder 6
The Outermost House: four choruses of mixed voices with narrator, soprano solo and chamber orchestra
1991

Box 3: folder 7
Five Summer Songs: on poems of Emily Dickinson
1991

Box 3: folder 8
A Fondness of Music: for women's chorus and piano
n.d.

Box 3: folder 9
The Writer: for soprano and five instruments from Visions for two sopranos and chamber ensemble
1993

Box 3: folder 10
Mass
1973

Box 3: folder 11
Visions: sketches and full score
n.d.

Box 4: folder 1
The Outermost House: original full score; four choruses of mixed voices with narrator, soprano solo and chamber orchestra
1991

Box 4: folder 2-3
S.: Original conception and artistic collaboration by Mark Harrison. Adapted from the novel, S., by John Updike
1988

Box 4
sheets 1-75


Box 4: folder 4
sheets 76-149


Box 4: folder 5
sheets 150-224


Box 4: folder 6
sheets 225-305


Box 4: folder 7
S.: An Opera in Two Acts: Score - Orchestra Version. Based on the novel by John Updike.
n.d.

Box 4
Act I



sheets 1-90


Box 5: folder 1
sheets 91-180


Box 5: folder 2
sheets 181-270


Box 5: folder 3
sheets 271-360


Box 5: folder 4
Act II



sheets 361-431


Box 5: folder 5
sheets 432-501


Box 5: folder 6
sheets 502-571


Box 5: folder 7
sheets 572-642


Box 5: folder 8

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Composers--United States--20th century.
  • Music--Instruction and study--Massachusetts--Northampton.
  • Perera, Ronald.
  • Smith College--Faculty.


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