Despite having composed 140 major works of music, all while pursuing an active and productive career in teaching, Vivian Fine (1913-2000) has not, until now, been the subject of a significant biography or bibliography. Regarded by many as the finest American female composer of the 20th century, Fine enjoyed many accomplishments, which ranged from seeing her works first performed when she was only 18 years old, and witnessing one of her ballets choreographed by Martha Graham, to the achievement of international renown. Author Judith Cody, who knew Fine personally, provides here a complete bibliography of her compositions, guides to locating published and recorded editions, and analyses of various aspects of the work of this most important figure in American music.
Interviews with Fine, combined with extensive research into secondary sources, allow Cody to give shape to a remarkable life, tracing the composer as she moved from child prodigy of Chicago to the center of the modern music and dance movements in New York City in the thirties, forties, and fifties. The result is both an exhaustive reference work and a vibrant portrait of an artist whose talents spanned decades, continents, and nearly every major creative development of the 20th century.