Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Michael C. Viens Papers

Michael C. Viens Papers 1967-2002

4.5 linear feet

Catalog Number:M251

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
Michael C. Viens, composer and pianist, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on July 3, 1953. Encouraged by his father, Normand (a fine baritone), to pursue music at a young age, Viens attended St. John's Preparatory School and then Bowdoin College (Class of 1975). Viens studied composition and theory with Elliot Schwartz at Bowdoin and then completed his Masters in Music at the University of Illinois School of Music. Following his graduate work in Illinois, Viens spent five years in Paris studying under Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire Americain at Fountainbleau. While in Paris, several of Viens' works were performed and choreographed at Le Centre d'Art Choreographique de l'Essonne and his song cycle ColorScope was broadcast twice on French National Radio.

Mr. Viens' compositions have been featured at concerts throughout the United States, including a June 1994 premiere at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall of his song cycles Sundown Voyager, StarBlaze, and ColorScope. In 1995 ColorScope for baritone and orchestra was recorded by the Slovak National Radio Orchestra, and in 1997 Les Insectes Dansants was recorded by the Seattle Symphony. Viens' CDs include York, Maine: fin des siecles (1992), Song Cycles (1996), Sundown Voyager (1996), ColorScope (1998) and a self-titled CD with William Thomas McKinley (1998).

Scope and Content:
The collection contains various drafts of musical compositions (parts and scores), poems, correspondence, copyright agreements, programs, clippings, ephemera, and sound recordings documenting Michael Viens' composing career between ca. 1972 and 2002. Final versions and sound recordings of these compositions are available in the Bowdoin College Authors Collection. The collection also includes biographical information about Viens, poetry collected by Viens to be used in his compositions, and newspaper clippings concerning the lives of other composers.

Cite as: Cite as: Michael C. Viens Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library

Access Restrictions: None.

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