Beloved Twin Cities composer Stephen Paulus dies at 65

Author:
Updated:
Original:

World-renowned Twin Cities composer Stephen Paulus has died at the age of 65.

The composer, who wrote more than 500 works during a career spanning more than 35 years, died on Sunday from complications of the stroke he suffered in the summer of last year, his website confirmed.

He was named composer in residence at the Minnesota Orchestra in 1983, serving in the same position in Atlanta, Tuscon and Annapolis, and is best remembered for his 1982 opera "The Postman Always Rings Twice."

Among those paying tribute to Paulus is Twin Cities choral director Dale Warland, who told MPR News: "He knew the potential for vocal colors, extreme registers, you name it, he just had that skill to bring something that really became part of our diet, every concert practically."

Born in Summit, New Jersey, his family moved to Minnesota when he was just 2 years old, Classicalite reports.

His wider contribution to music started as early as 1973, when he co-founded the American Composers Forum. After gaining his doctorate in composition from the University of Minnesota in 1978, he went on to write 10 operas, nearly 60 orchestral scores and 150 choral pieces, MPR says.

Survived by his wife Patty and sons Greg, 30, and Andrew, 25, news of his death has reached the international music community.

"Stephen Paulus has left us many beautiful choral works that will be sung for years to come," says Stephen Layton on the website of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he is the musical director. He continued:

"I will never forget the time I encountered his Hymn to the Eternal Flame - a simple, heartfelt setting with a wafting soprano solo.

"For one so successful, he was really quite modest and very generous in his enthusiasm for our recording. His encouragement of the choral scene in Minnesota, and the way that this reached out beyond the USA, is his wonderful legacy."

The Choir of Royal Holloway, London, also paid tribute on its Facebook page, saying: "Stephen Paulus was a great talent and his passing a loss to the musical world and the Twin Cities of Minnesota in particular."

A funeral date has not yet been set, according to the posting on his website by the Paulus family.

Next Up

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

police lights

Police recover more than 14 pounds of meth, 4,000 pills during drug bust

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection to the drugs.

Gopher hockey

Gophers respond to drop in rankings with 10-goal outburst

It had been 17 years since the Gophers last scored 10 goals in a game.

snow

Winter storm watch issued where snow could exceed 6 inches in MN

Snow will spread from west to east starting Saturday morning in western Minnesota.

Related