Noted composer James M. Beale, professor of theory and composition at the University of Washington School of Music from 1948 to 1994, died November 4 at age 86. In addition to his teaching activities at the School of Music, he served as acting director of the School of Music in 1983-84 and summers 1994-95.
Professor Beale, born in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts in 1924, received his early musical training under the guidance of Stanley Chapple. He studied at Harvard College with Walter Piston, Irving Fine and Aaron Copland, and received a scholarship to continue work with Mr. Copland at the Berkshire Music Center in 1946.
A 1945 graduate of Harvard College, he earned his master's of music at Yale University (1947), where he worked with Richard Donovan, and where his Piano Trio won the Woods-Chandler Prize.
In 1958 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent the following year near Paris writing his Cressay Symphony, a work in four movements for large orchestra that was performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 1962.
His compositions have been performed by orchestras throughout the country, including the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (with which he was pianist in 1945), the Columbia University Orchestra, the St. Louis Little Symphony, the Tacoma Civic Orchestra and the Portland Junior Symphony. His compositions include several symphonic works, piano sonatas, a piano trio, violin sonatas, and cello concertos.
Professor Beale is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jane Guthrie Beale, as well as three daughters and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Details may be found here.