Walter H. Piston '24, Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music, announced yesterday that he will retire from teaching at the end of the academic year. Piston said he considers himself primarily a composer and will devote his full time to that upon retirement.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude, he began teaching at the University in 1928. Piston became an associate professor in 1938 and a full professor in 1944. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music in 1948, and is the author of Harmony, Counterpoint, and Orchestra.
Piston now teaches graduate seminars in composition and 20th century music, and is known as the "dean" of the country's composition teachers. Piston is currently finishing a two-piano concerto. His Viola Concerto recently won an award as the best new orchestral work performed in New York during the season.