Nancy Van de Vate
1930 - 2023
Born in the United States and having taken up permanent residence in Vienna, Austria, Nancy Van de Vate was known worldwide for her music in the large forms.
She taught music composition for many years at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna. Nancy Van de Vate was also a faculty member at eleven colleges and universities in the United States and at the Jakarta Conservatory (Yayasan Pendidikan Musik) in Indonesia.
Her full-length opera, All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen Nichts Neues) premiered in Osnabrück, Germany in 2003 and was performed there ten times to great critical acclaim. The same work was included in May 2003 by the New York City Opera in its VOX 2003: Showcasing American Opera series, again to critical acclaim.
In January 2005 her new chamber opera, Where the Cross is Made, based on the play by Eugene O'Neill, was selected by the National Opera Association (USA) as the winner of its international biennial competition for new chamber operas. A shortened version was introduced in New York City, with a full production following in January 2006 at the 51st annual convention of the National Opera Association in Ann Arbor MI.
Her 26 orchestral works include the well-known Chernobyl, which has been performed in Vienna, Hamburg, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and in the United States at the Chautauqua Festival and by the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra. A special performance on February 25, 2006 by the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor, marked the 20th anniversary of the world's most famous nuclear accident. Chernobyl has been widely broadcast worldwide since its first appearance on compact disc in 1987.
A much sought-after speaker, she participated in the World Music Council meeting in Los Angeles in October 2005. Also widely respected as a juror, she was a Nominator for the Kyoto Prize in Music since its inception twenty years ago. She served as President and Artistic Director of the international recording company, Vienna Modern Masters, which she founded in 1990 with her late husband, Clyde Smith.
Founder of the International League of Women Composers in 1975, she steadfastly continued her advocacy of women composers through the inclusion of many works by women composers on the Vienna Modern Masters label.
Biography adapted from composer’s website.