Kermit Moore, in Memoriam
Cellist, Composer, Conductor
Kermit Diton Moore (1929-2013) was an extraordinary talent and a reliably inventive Member and Board Member of the Musicians Club of New York. Below are links to Musicians Club concerts that he curated and performed in, his obituary, articles and performances of this great classical musician. Please make suggestions for further links by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since making his spectacular recital debut in New York’s Town Hall at the age of nineteen, Kermit Moore has won the hearts of music lovers the world over. He has concertized throughout the United States from Maine, where he appeared at the Monteux Festival, to the state of California, where he gave a concert on the prestigious recital series at the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Moore has been heard with major European orchestras, such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the National Radio Symphony of Paris, the Belgian National Orchestra, and several Scandinavian, Dutch and French orchestras. High public and critical praise followed these concerts, as well as his numerous recitals. He has concertized in the Far East and in Africa as well. He has given recitals of modern music at New York’s Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, and in universities throughout the United States and in major European cities
Mr. Moore's compositions include works or symphony orchestra, solo works for cello, a flute sonata, a timpani concerto and two string quartets. Mr. Moore was a co-founder and conductor of the Symphony of the New World, as well as a co-founder of the Society of Black Composers, along with his wife, Dorothy Rudd Moore, and three others. Among his many honors, he was presented with a medal by the Société d’Artistes Professionels Belges, cast by the order of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.
Kermit Moore enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a conductor, cellist and composer. He was a frequent guest conductor of symphony orchestras, ballet companies and opera societies. He served as Project Director, frequent conductor, and was one of the founders of the Symphony of the New World (SNW) in New York. He conducted the SNW in the premiere of his composition, Many Thousand Gone, a work for chorus, flute, percussion and strings. This composition has subsequently been performed by many orchestral societies throughout the United States. In 1974, Mr. Moore presented, with the SNW, a very historic concert at Philharmonic Hall in New York. After much research and through the tireless efforts of Dr. Paul Glass of Brooklyn College, the Violin Concerto of the black Cuban composer Joseph White (1839-1920) was found. Mr. Moore engaged the virtuoso violinist Ruggiero Ricci to perform the solo part with him. This was the U.S. premiere of a work of great originality and style by this 19th-century black composer. Many works by composers past and present have first seen the light of day, in respect to performance, in concerts conducted by Kermit Moore.
Mr. Moore had the honor of conducting the Festival Orchestra of New York in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations. There he conducted his own Many Thousand Gone and works by 18th-century black Brazilian composers from the region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. His chorus was the combined Glee Clubs of Morehouse and Spelman Universities of Atlanta. He also led a distinguished group of soloists including tenor George Shirley and baritone Rawn Spearman.
In recent years, Mr. Moore has conducted the National Opera Ebony in performances of William Grant Still’s Troubled Island and Mark Fax’s Til Victory is Won. He also led the group in concerts at Lincoln Center and at the Aaron Davis Center of City College of New York.
In 1985, Kermit Moore was a guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony. The program included Sibelius’ Finlandia, Howard Swanson’s Symphony No. 1 and Mr. Moore’s own Many Thousand Gone.
Mr. Moore is a frequent guest conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He leads the orchestra at the Great Hall of the Cooper Union and at Lincoln Center. At the latter, he led the orchestra in the New York premiere of Transcension by Dorothy Rudd Moore, a prominent New York composer (the opera Frederick Douglass; From the Dark Tower; Dirge and Deliverance), who is also Mr. Moore’s wife. He conducted the group in the world premiere of his own Estival Escapade along with works by Bach and Haydn. On another occasion, Mr. Moore led the ensemble at Lincoln Center in Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, which Mr. Moore had previously orchestrated on a commission by the Cleveland Orchestra.
Each season since 1984, Kermit Moore has been a guest conductor of the Berkeley (California) Symphony in several halls in San Francisco. His programs have included A Lincoln Portrait of Aaron Copland, Schönberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw, William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, Britten’s Sea Interludes, the First Cello Concerto of Shostakovich, Penderecki’s Te Deum, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, the Lyric Suite of Grieg, and other works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bizet, Ravel, Wagner and Verdi, with many distinguished soloists.
Kermit Moore has also led the Dance Theatre of Harlem on Broadway the Birmingham (Alabama) Symphony and his own prestigious group, the Classical Heritage Ensemble.
Programs for Musicians Club of New York:
2004 Interview of Kermit Moore by ClassicalNet on his studying with Serge Koussevitzky:
New York Times obituary, Novewmber 12, 2013:
Video of Kermit Moore playing the cello solo in Dorothy Rudd Moore's Dirge and Deliverance for cello and piano: