Morten Lauridsen

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Morten Lauridsen
Morten Lauridsen on Waldron.jpg
The composer on Waldron, a remote island in the San Juan Archipelago
Background information
Birth nameMorten Johannes Lauridsen
Born(1943-02-27) February 27, 1943 (age 71)
Colfax, Washington
OccupationsComposer, Conductor
Years active1967 – present
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Morten Lauridsen
Morten Lauridsen on Waldron.jpg
The composer on Waldron, a remote island in the San Juan Archipelago
Background information
Birth nameMorten Johannes Lauridsen
Born(1943-02-27) February 27, 1943 (age 71)
Colfax, Washington
OccupationsComposer, Conductor
Years active1967 – present

Morten Johannes Lauridsen (born February 27, 1943) is an American composer. A National Medal of Arts recipient (2007),[1] he was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1994–2001)[2] and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years.[3]


A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lauridsen worked as a Forest Service firefighter and lookout (on an isolated tower near Mt. St. Helens) before traveling south to study composition at the University of Southern California with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen.[4] He began teaching at USC in 1967 and has been on their faculty ever since.[3]

In 2006, Lauridsen was named an "American Choral Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide".

His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations, including O Magnum Mysterium by the Tiffany Consort, A Company of Voices by Conspirare, Sound The Bells by The Bay Brass, and two all-Lauridsen discs entitled Lux Aeterna by the Los Angeles Master Chorale led by Paul Salamunovich, and Polyphony with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Layton. His principal publishers are Peermusic (New York/Hamburg) and Faber Music (London).

A recipient of numerous grants, prizes, and commissions, Lauridsen chaired the Composition department at the USC Thornton School of Music from 1990–2002 and founded the School’s Advanced Studies program in Film Scoring. He has held residencies as guest composer/lecturer at over seventy universities and has received honorary doctorates from Oklahoma State University, Westminster Choir College and King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Lauridsen now divides his time between Los Angeles and his home in the San Juan Archipelago off the northern coast of Washington State.


The 2012 documentary film Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen portrays the composer at his Waldron Island retreat and in rehearsals in California and Scotland. Commentaries about the composer by poet Dana Gioia, conductor Paul Salamunovich, composer/conductor Paul Mealor, composer Alex Shapiro and conductor Robert Geary, along with performances by the San Francisco Choral Society, University of Aberdeen Choral Society and Orchestra, Con Anima Chamber Choir and Volti, are featured. Works include O Magnum Mysterium, Lux Aeterna, Madrigali, Dirait-on, and Nocturnes, with soundtracks by Polyphony (choir) and Britten Sinfonia (conducted by Stephen Layton), The Singers:Minnesota Choral Artists (conducted by Matthew Culloton), and the Dale Warland Singers (conducted by Dale Warland).[5]

A Song Without Borders production directed by Michael Stillwater, the film premiered on February 7, 2012 at the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs, CA, was voted Best Documentary at the DC Independent Film Festival (February 29, 2012), Best Documentary/International Subject at the Eugene Film Festival (2012); receiving the Audience Choice Award at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, (October 13, 2013), nominated Best Documentary at Cincinnati Film Festival (2012), receiving Bronze at Oregon Film Awards (2012) and Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Movie Awards (2012). The NYC premiere (March 30, 2012), hosted by Distinguished Concerts International New York, opened a Lauridsen-tribute weekend at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. The film, produced with optional English and German subtitles, is screened at film festivals, cinema theaters and through choral organizations in America and internationally, as well as for DVD home-viewing. The first public television broadcast was in May, 2013, on KCET Southern California.


Choirs around the world perform Lauridsen's works, contributing to his status as "the most-frequently performed American choral composer".[6] Here the Scottish chamber choir Con Anima records Madrigali: Six "FireSongs" on Italian Renaissance Poems, conducted by Paul Mealor, in a 16th-century chapel in Blare's, Scotland. (Image from the 2012 documentary Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen

His seven vocal cycles and two collections—Les Chansons des Roses (Rilke), Mid-Winter Songs (Graves), A Winter Come (Moss), Madrigali: Six "FireSongs" on Italian Renaissance Poems, Nocturnes (Rilke, Neruda and Agee), Cuatro Canciones (Lorca), Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts, Five Songs on American Poems (Moss, Witt, Gioia and Agee) and Lux Aeterna—his series of sacred a cappella motets (O Magnum Mysterium, Ave Maria, O Nata Lux, Ubi Caritas et Amor, and Ave Dulcissima Maria) and numerous instrumental works are featured regularly in concert by distinguished artists and ensembles throughout the world. O Magnum Mysterium, Dirait-on (from Les Chansons des Roses), O Nata Lux (from Lux Aeterna) and Sure On This Shining Night (from Nocturnes) have become the all-time best-selling choral octavos distributed by Theodore Presser, in business since 1783.[7]

His musical approaches are very diverse, ranging from direct to abstract in response to various characteristics (subject matter, language, style, structure, historical era, etc.) of the texts he sets. His Latin sacred settings, such as the Lux Aeterna and motets, often reference Gregorian chant plus Medieval and Renaissance procedures while blending them within a freshly contemporary sound while other works such as the Madrigali and Cuatro Canciones are highly chromatic or atonal. His music has an overall lyricism and is tightly constructed around melodic and harmonic motives.

Referring to Lauridsen's sacred music, the musicologist and conductor Nick Strimple said he was "the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic, (whose) probing, serene work contains an elusive and indefinable ingredient which leaves the impression that all the questions have been answered ...[8] From 1993 Lauridsen's music rapidly increased in international popularity, and by century's end he had eclipsed Randall Thompson as the most frequently performed American choral composer."[9]

Vocal works[edit]

DateComposition/Song CycleMovements
2012Prayer (On a Poem by Dana Gioia)
2006Chanson Eloignee (Rilke)
2005NocturnesI. Sa Nuit d'Été (Rainer Maria Rilke)

II. Soneto de la Noche (Pablo Neruda)

III. Sure on this Shining Night (James Agee)

IV. Epilogue: Voici le soir (Rilke, added in 2008)

2004Ave Dulcissima Maria (written for the Harvard Glee Club)
1999Ubi Caritas et Amor
1997Lux Aeterna[10]I. Introitus

II. In Te, Domine, Speravi

III. O Nata Lux

IV. Veni, Sancte Spiritus

V. Agnus Dei

1997Ave Maria[10]
1994O Magnum Mysterium[10]
1993Les Chansons des Roses[10] (settings of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke)I. En Une Seule Fleur

II. Contre Qui, Rose

III. De Ton Rêve Trop Plein

IV. La Rose Complète

V. Dirait-on

1987Madrigali: Six "Firesongs" on Italian Renaissance PoemsI. Ov'è, Lass', Il Bel Viso?

II. Quando Son Piu Lontan

III. Amor, Io Sento L'alma

IV. Io Piango

V. Luci Serene e Chiare

VI. Se Per Havervi, Oime

1981Cuatro Canciones Sobre Poesias de Federico Garcia Lorca[11]
1980Mid-Winter Songs[10] (on poems by Robert Graves)I. Lament for Pasiphaë

II. Like Snow

III. She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep

IV. Mid-Winter Waking

V. Intercession in Late October

1976Where Have the Actors Gone
1970I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
1970O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord
1967A Winter Come (on poems by Howard Moss)I. When Frost Moves Fast

II. As Birds Come Nearer

III. The Racing Waterfall

IV. A Child Lay Down

V. Who Reads By Starlight

VI. And What Of Love


Lauridsen's works have been recorded on over 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy nominations. In the 2009 movie Angels & Demons (film) noted film composer Hans Zimmer incorporated the Introitus opening of Lux Aeterna for the final scene.

Ten All-Lauridsen CDs:

Lauridsen: Lux AeternaLos Angeles Master ChoralePaul SalamunovichGrammy nomination (1998)Lux Aeterna (Orchestral Version), Les Chansons des Roses, Ave Maria, Mid-Winter Songs (Orchestral Version), O Magnum MysteriumRCM
Lauridsen: The Complete Choral CyclesChoral Cross-TiesBruce Browneseveral best-of-the-year listsMid-Winter Songs (Chamber Version), Madrigali, Les Chansons des RosesFreshwater
Lauridsen: Northwest JourneyThe Portland, Oregon Chamber Chorus, Ralph Grierson, Jane Thorngren, Viklarbo Ensemble, Donald Brinegar Singers, Shelly Berg, Sunny Wilkinson, James Drollinger and Morten LauridsenvariousWhere Have the Actors Gone, Dirait-on (Duet Version), Ubi Caritas et Amor, A Winter Come, Variations, Cuatro Canciones, Madrigali and O Magnum Mysterium (Piano/Vocal Version)RCM
O Magnum MysteriumNordic Chamber Choir / EuropeNicol MattMadrigali, Lux Aeterna (Organ version), O Magnum Mysterium, Les Chansons des RosesHanssler Recordings
Lauridsen - Lux AeternaPolyphony (Choir) and Britten Sinfonia / UKStephen LaytonGrammy nomination (2005)Lux Aeterna (Orchestral Version), Madrigali, Ave Maria, Ubi Caritas et Amor and O Magnum MysteriumHyperion Records
Lauridsen – NocturnesPolyphony (Choir) and Britten Sinfonia (with Morten Lauridsen, piano and Andrew Lumsden, organ)Stephen LaytonMid-Winter Songs on Poems by Robert Graves, Les Chansons des Roses (Rilke), I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, O Come Let Us Sing Unto The Lord, Ave Dulcissima Maria and NocturnesHyperion Records
Dialogues: Musical Conversations between Composer and Conductors3-CD set containing conversations between Morten Lauridsen and conductors Paul Salamunovich and James Jordan discussing Morten Lauridsen’s compositions, with demonstrations by Lauridsen at the piano.GIA Publications
Sure On This Shining NightVoce and the Voce Chamber Artists /Hartford, CTMark SingletonMovements from six vocal cycles plus four premiere CD recordings. Morten Lauridsen accompanies at the piano on several works.Voce Recordings
Morten Lauridsen – Choral MusicElora Festival Singers / CanadaNoel Edisonseveral full cycles and motetsNaxos Recordings
Lauridsen – Mid-Winter SongsThe Singers – Minnesota Choral ArtistsMatthew Cullotonthe complete Nocturnes, Mid-Winter Songs, Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts and Les Chansons des Roses plus Three Psalm Settings.The Singers Recordings

Numerous additional national and international CD and LP recordings of Lauridsen compositions. Following is a sampling of these recordings:

CompositionArtist/EnsembleConductorAlbum Title(s)Label
O Magnum MysteriumRobert Shaw Chamber SingersRobert ShawAngels On High, O Magnum Mysterium, Sacred, Robert Shaw-Master of the The First Art,Telarc
When Frost Moves Fast and And What of LovePaul Sperry and Irma VallencilloAn American SamplerAlbany
O Magnum MysteriumCanterbury ChoirA Canterbury ChristmasYork
O Magnum MysteriumHarvard University SingersJameson MarvinChristmas in the BuschHarvard University Singers Recordings
O Love, Be Fed With Apples While You MaySan Francisco Symphony ChorusVance GeorgeVoices 1900/2000Delos
Dirait-onLos Angeles Guitar QuartetAir & GroundSony
O Magnum MysteriumLos Angeles Master ChoralePaul SalamunovichChristmas / A KDFC Classical ChristmasRCM / KDFC
O Magnum MysteriumMemphis Chamber ChoirIn Every Corner SingPro Organo
Lament for Pasiphae and De Ton Reve Trop PleinUniversity of Miami ChoraleVoices and LightAlbany
Dirait-on (Treble Voice Version)Northwest GirlchoirEcho In My SoulArsis
O Magnum MysteriumRhodes SingersTimothy SharpChristmas at St. Mary’sRhodes College Singers Records
En Une Seule Fleur and Contre Qui RosePhoenix Chamber Choir (Canada)Live in CopenhagenPCC
Lux Aeterna (Organ Version)Donald Brinegar SingersDonald BrinegarEternal LightDBSR
Dirait-onKasilag Guitar QuartetKasilag Recordings
O Magnum MysteriumSt. George’s ChoirChristmas at St. George’sPro Organo
O Nata LuxMagnum ChorumLight EverlastingMC Collections
La Rose CompleteArs Nova SingersAll SkyNew Art Recordings
Madrigali and Les Chansons des RosesUSC Chamber ChoirUSC Recordings
O Magnum MysteriumThe Trinity Choir (Boston)Radiant LightDorian
A Winter ComeElin CarlsonAnd What Of LoveSingularity Records
Dirait-on (Voice/Guitar)Chvatal and S. KritzerSongs of the AmericasMiramont
O Magnum MysteriumDallas Symphony ChorusDallas Christmas GalaDelos
Be Still, My Soul, Be StillYoav EnsembleYoav Chamber EnsembleOrion
O Magnum MysteriumThe New York Concert SingersJudith ClurmanA Season’s PromiseNew World Recordings
Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts, Psalm 29 and Mid-Winter SongsUSC Chamber SingersRodney EichenbergerOpus Records
O Magnum MysteriumDale Warland SingersDale WarlandAmerican FavoritesGothic Records
O Magnum MysteriumThe Bach Choir: Choristers of Winchester CathedralNoel!Priory Records LTD (UK)
Madrigali: Six “FireSongs” on Italian Renaissance PoemsSeattle Pro MusicaKaren ThomasAlnight by the RoseSPM Recordings
O Magnum MysteriumLoyola Marymount SingersA Christmas GalaDelos
Dirait-onLos Angeles Guitar QuartetSummer GuitarsFM Recordings
Mid-Winter Songs and O Magnum MysteriumAntioch Chamber EnsembleJoshua CopelandWinter SongsACE Recordings
O Magnum MysteriumHandel and Haydn Society ChorusPeaceAVI
Mid-Winter Songs and Les Chansons des RosesDonald Brinegar SingersDonald BrinegarDBSR
O Magnum Mysterium (Concert Band Version)University of Michigan Symphony BandMichael HaithcockEqualibrium
O Magnum MysteriumSan Francisco Chamber SingersIsland In SpaceOsoske
When Frost Moves FastJuliana Gondek and Roger VignolesPhillip-Pateck
O Magnum MysteriumMagnum ChorumWonderful MysteryMC Recordings
MadrigaliUniversity of Alberta Madrigal SingersL. RatzlaffArktos
O Magnum MysteriumChoir of the WestRichard SparksRejoice and SingPLU Recordings
Dirait-on (Solo Voice and Piano Version)Hillary Hight Daw and Barbara EfirdAmericans in ParisACA
O Magnum MysteriumNational Lutheran ChoirRené ClausenA Holy SolemnityNational Lutheran Choir Records
Fanfare for Brass Sextet and O Magnum MysteriumSan Francisco Bay Brass
O Magnum MysteriumPrinceton SingersSteven SametzPSR
Les Chansons des RosesLos Angeles Chamber SingersPeter RutenbergRomancero GitanoRCM
O Magnum MysteriumSouth Bend SingersChristmas at LorettoPro Organo
Dirait-onTim Seelig/Turtle Creek ChoraleTim Seelig (and vocalist)Two WorldsTCC Records
O Magnum MysteriumCleveland Orchestra ChorusRobert PorcoChristmas at Severance HallCleveland Orchestra/Musical Arts
Ave MariaRhodes SingersTimothy SharpChristmas at St. Mary’sRhodes College Singers Records
O Magnum Mysterium (solo version)Janeanne Houston, sopranoLiving MysteriesElmgrove Productions
O Magnum MysteriumChicago a cappella (ensemble)Jonathan MillerHolidays-a cappella Live!Chicago a cappella Records
O Nata Lux and O Magnum MysteriumCheyenne Chamber SingersCCS Records
O Magnum Mysterium (TTBB Version)Turtle Creek ChoraleTimothy SeeligOne WorldTCC Records
O Nata LuxKantoreIRichard LarsonPillars of LightKantorel
O Magnum MysteriumThe Choral ProjectWater and LightClarion
Dirait-onRose WyndeDistant AyresSunridge
O Magnum MysteriumCincinnati May Festival ChorusChristmas with the Cincinnati May Festival ChorusCSO
Sonata for Trumpet and PianoRoy Poper/Brian Pezzone
O Magnum MysteriumLumen ValoMysteriumLVCD (Finland)
O Magnum Mysterium (Concert Band Version)Northwestern University Concert BandMallory ThompsonSummit Records
O Magnum MysteriumLos Angeles Master ChoraleLA Master Chorale – Live from Walt Disney Concert Hall
Sa Nuit d’Ete and two MadrigaliSeattle Pro MusicaAmerican MasterpiecesSPM
O Magnum MysteriumOctariumHodieSoundtrack
Lux AeternaSacramento Choral SocietyEuropean HorizonsSCS Recordings
O Nata LuxSamford University ChoirHow Can I Keep From SingingSU
Dirait-onSpivey Hall Children’s ChoirI’ll Be Seeing YouACA Recordings
O Magnum MysteriumAnam CaraInnisfreeGIA
O Magnum MysteriumRichard Zielinski SingersAmerican VoicesRZR
O Magnum MysteriumTiffany ConsortNicholas WhiteO Magnum Mysterium (Grammy Nominee, 2006)MSR Classics
Ov’e, Lass’, Il Bel Viso?U of Miami ChoraleWhat Dreams May ComeAlbany
Contre qui, roseChicago a cappella (ensemble)Jonathan MillerElectricCentaur
O Magnum Mysterium and O Nata LuxFaber SingersSimon HalseyAdoro TeFaber Music Unlimited
Soneto de la NocheSanta Fe Desert ChoraleLinda MackPassionClarion
Ubi Caritas et AmorThe Abbey Schoo Choir, TwekesburyBenjamin NicholasLight of the WorldSignum Classics
O Magnum MysteriumColumbus State University Wind EnsembleVelocitySummit
Contre Qui, Rose, O Nata Lux and O Magnum MysteriumSacred Treasures IV: Choral MasterworksHeart of Space Records
Ubi Caritas et AmorTrinity Choir, Trinity Church, BostonBrian JonesSounds of LightGothic Records
O Magnum MysteriumCoroThe Lover’s GhostDal Segno
Ave Dulcissima MariaCantusCantusCantus Recordings
Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts, O Magnum Mysterium and NocturnesUSC Chamber SingersLegacyUSC Recordings
Lux AeternaOlympia Choral SocietyLight and JoyChinook Wind Records
O Magnum MysteriumUnited States Coastguard BandHoliday FanfareUSCGA
Mid-Winter SongsUSC Chamber ChoirUSC Thornton Chamber Choir in TaipeiUSC
O Magnum MysteriumStellenbosch Libertas ChoirChristmas with the Stellenbosch Libertas ChoirSLC Records
O Magnum MysteriumPolyphony (choir)A Christmas Present from PolyphonyHyperion
NocturnesAmedeus-ChorNicol MattAmerikanische ChormusikARS
O Magnum MysteriumDale Warland SingersDale WarlandLux AurumqueGothic Records
Se Per Havervi, OimeSchola Cantorum and Nordic VoicesAudiensLindberg
Contre Qui, RoseOctariumModern MastersBlackwood Recordings
Ave MariaSchola Cantorum of OxfordSweet is the MemoryFaber Recordings
Soneto de la Noche and Sure On This Shining NightConspirareCraig Hella JohnsonA Conspiracy of Voices (Grammy Nominee, 2010)Conspirare
Sure on this Shining NightThe Voices of Anam CaraAngels in the ArchitectureGIA
Fanfare for Brass Sextet and O Magnum MysteriumThe Bay BrassSound The Bells!Harmonia Mundi
O Magnum MysteriumDavis High School MadrigalsKaren GardiasMadrigals Italy/Wales 2010

Sheet music sales and performances[edit]

Draft of original Lauridsen score, new work in progress, June 2011

Morten Lauridsen is currently one of America’s most performed composers,[12] with hundreds of performances each year throughout the world in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Vatican, Sydney Opera House and Westminster Abbey. Over one million copies of his scores have been sold and his Dirait-on, O Magnum Mysterium and O Nata Lux have become the all-time best selling octavos distributed by the Theodore Presser Co., in business since 1783.

Recordings of Morten Lauridsen’s compositions are featured regularly on radio broadcasts throughout the United States, and he is a frequent interview guest on radio and television programs, including a recent KCET “Life and Times” program, the oft- repeated national broadcast of “A Portrait of Morten Lauridsen” on the “First Art” and a nationally-broadcast, Christmas Day feature on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” with Scott Simon. He has been profiled in several extended printed articles, including those in the Los Angeles Times “Calendar,” Seattle Times, Choral Journal, Choir and Organ, Chorus America’s “Voice”, Fanfare Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. He has received over four hundred commission requests, most recently from Harvard University, the American Choral Director’s Association and the Pacific Chorale, and is a frequent guest lecturer and Artist/Composer-in-Residence.

His principal publishers are Peermusic (New York/Hamburg) and Peer's affiliate, Faber Music (London).

Teaching life[edit]

1968-69Jascha Heifetz Master ClassesTheory Instructor
1966USC Music Preparatory DepartmentEstablished Theory Program
1970-90Thornton School of Music Undergraduate Theory ProgramCoordinator
1972–PresentUSC Thornton School of MusicFull-Time Faculty
Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV Advanced Studies Program, Thornton School of Music, USCFounder
1990–2002Composition department at the USC Thornton School of MusicChair
CurrentUSC Thornton School of MusicDistinguished Professor of Composition

In addition to these positions, Lauridsen has served as Artistic Advisor on the Boards of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Dale Warland Singers, I Cantori (New York), USC Scoring for Films/TV Program, National Children’s Chorus, Creative Kids Education Foundation, Volti (San Francisco Chamber Singers), New York City Master Chorale, Jacaranda, and Angeles Chorale.

Residencies/Guest lectureships[edit]

In offering residencies for choral singers and composition students, Lauridsen has travelled extensively throughout America, also with visits to the UK and Europe over the years. These residencies have included the following schools and choral organizations.

University of ArizonaUniversity of MinnesotaUniversity of New MexicoKing College, Tenn.
University of California, BerkeleyUniversity of KansasWashington State UniversityAzusa Pacific University
University of Nevada, RenoPortland State University (2x)Miami University of OhioTrinity University (Texas)
Colorado State UniversityUniversity of KentuckyBoise State UniversityMorehead State University
Lewis & Clark CollegeUniversity of California, Los AngelesPasadena City College (2x)Volti Choral Institute
University of ArkansasHouston Baptist College (2x)Portland Symphony ChorusPortland Liederkranz
Phillips Academy, AndoverSan Francisco Chamber Singers (3x)Los Angeles Chamber SingersIndianapolis Master Chorale
Paso Robles Master ChoraleConsortium of Churches, DallasUniversity of Northern IllinoisSouthern Illinois University
University of GeorgiaSeattle Choral Company (2x)Consortium of Churches, DetroitAngeles Chorale
ACDA National Convention, AustinCalifornia Institute of the ArtsNational Master Chorale (D.C.)Arizona Liederkranz
Los Angeles Choral Composer’s ConsortiumWestminster Choir College (2x) Rowan UniversityThe Singers – Minnesota Choral ArtistsUniversity of Denver
Choral Cross-Ties, Portland, Meet The Composer GrantOklahoma State UniversityCentral Bucks High School West Choirs (2x)Voce and the Voce Chamber Artists, Hartford
Composer’s Forum, USC Thornton School of MusicKing’s College, Aberdeen University, Scotland (3x)

Seattle Pro Musica NEA American Master Composer Grant || Composer-in-Residence, Los Angeles Master Chorale, 1995–2001

Pacific Chorale NEA American Master Composer grantWorld Choir Games, Cincinnati

Awards, prizes, commissions and honorary degrees[edit]

Recipient, 2007 National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” Designated an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts, 2006; National Endowment for the Arts Meet the Composer Grant;

Los Angeles Master Chorale CommissionO Magnum Mysterium
Phi Kappa Phi Award for Creative WritingMid-Winter Songs
Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Music Center CommissionLux Aeterna
Harvard University Glee CommissionAve Dulcissima Maria
Composers of California Composition PrizeA Winter Come
Pasadena Chamber Orchestra CommissionMid-Winter Songs, orchestral version
USC Centennial CommissionMid-Winter Songs, chorus/piano version
Chorus America GrantLA Master Chorale performance of Mid-Winter Songs
Piedmont Children’s Choir CommissionSA version of Dirait-on
Loyola/Marymount University CommissionUbi Caritas et Amor
Yoav Chamber Ensemble CommissionsCuatro Canciones and Be Still, My Soul
ACDA Raymond Brock CommissionNocturnes
Victoria Scholars CommissionO Magnum Mysterium, TTBB version
San Francisco Bay Brass CommissionO Magnum Mysterium for Brass Ensemble
Pacific Chorale CommissionChanson Eloignee--Distant Song
Jimmy McHugh Composition PrizeFor Symphony I
The Choral Project CommissionOrchestral version of Sure on this Shining Night
ASCAP Standard AwardEach year for over 30 years
Thornton School of Music Dean’s AwardFor Professional Accomplishment, 2007/2010
Alpha Lambda Delta CitationFor Teaching Excellence
USC Thornton School of Music Ramo AwardFor Outstanding Professor
USC Thornton School of Music Outstanding Alumnus Award
Alchin and Cole Porter/Samuel Stark Fellowships
Elected to Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi Lifetime Achievement Award2008
Fellow, Los Angeles Institute for the Arts2009-
Honorary Board MemberLos Angeles Master Chorale and New York City Master Chorale

Articles by the composer[edit]

“It’s a Still Life That Runs Deep: The Influence of Zurbaran’s Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose on Morten Lauridsen’s Composition O Magnum Mysterium,” Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2009

Foreword to the book, Evoking Sound, by James Jordan, GIA Publications, 2009

“Morten Lauridsen on Composing Choral Music,” a chapter in the book Contemporary Choral Music Composers, GIA Publications, 2007

Liner notes for the CD “Randall Thompson—The Peaceable Kingdom,” Schola Cantorum of Oxford, Hyperion Records

“Remembering Halsey Stevens,” National Association of Composer Journal, 1990


  1. ^ National Endowment for the Arts Website
  2. ^ Los Angeles Master Chorale Website
  3. ^ a b Thornton School of Music Profile
  4. ^ Oram, Thomas biography, AllMusic Website
  5. ^ The Best Composer You've Never Heard Of, Wall Street Journal review by Terry Teachout.
  6. ^ Tom Wine, et al. (2007). Composers on Composing for Choir Graphite Publishing. Pg. 69-70.
  7. ^ Shrock, Dennis. "Choral Literature." New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. p. 751-752.
  8. ^ Strimple, Nick. "Choral Music in the Twentieth Century" Amadeus Press, 2003.
  9. ^ Wine, Tom et al. (2007). Composers on Composing for Choir Graphite Publishing. Pg. 69-70.
  10. ^ a b c d e Morten Lauridsen. Lux Aeterna. RCM, 1998
  11. ^ Morten Lauridsen's biography at
  12. ^ Wine,Tom et al. (2007). Composers on Composing for Choir Graphite Publishing. Pg. 69-70.

External links[edit]