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American composer Judith Lang Zaimont was born on 8 November 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee. She and her sister, Doris Lang Kosloff, had piano lessons with their mother, Bertha Lang, a pianist and singer. Judith and Doris had a career as duo-pianists.
Judith began attempting to compose at the age of eleven and won her first prize for composition for a piece written when she was twelve. She studied at Long Island Institute of Music, Queeens College in New York City, and at Columbia University. Her composition teachers were Hugo Weisgall and Jack Beeson (at Queens) and Otto Luening at Columbia. She also studied orchestration with André Jolivet in France.
Her complex tonal compositional style incorporates elements of Romanticism, Impressionism and twentieth-century techniques (including complex rhythms and sudden changes of metre), and is mostly instrumentally (rather than vocally) inspired. Influences include Berlioz, Chopin, Copland, Debussy, Messiaen, Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin and Stravinsky.
She promotes other women composers and has addressed the absence of women composers' repertoire in teaching materials, although she doesn't like being referred to as a woman composer. She has served as the head editor of the series The Musical Woman: An International Perspective.
Further information: judithzaimont.com
CD Spotlight. An Encyclopedic Recital - Elizabeth Moak plays Judith Lang Zaimont, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a stature of compelling merit.'
Three Questions before the First Night - Carson Cooman talks to Judith Lang Zaimont about her Symphony for Wind Orchestra in Three Scenes