Blank, Allan (1925-2013) | Special Collections of the ODU Libraries
Allan Blank was born in New York in 1925. His early musical training was on the violin, and he attended the High School of Music and Art where his interest in conducting and composition was fostered. He furthered his studies at the Juilliard School of Music (1945-1947); Washington Square College (B.A., 1948); University of Minnesota (M.A., l950) and the University of Iowa. He was a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1950-1952) and has taught at a number of schools and universities.
He was Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University where he taught from 1978-1996. He has a number of published works distributed among the following publishers: Carl Fischer, Theodore Presser, Seesaw Music, Music For Percussion, Dorn Publications, Nichols Music, Roncorp Inc., Falls House Press, HoneyRock, Boosey and Hawkes, Smith Publications, Association for the Promotion of New Music, Associated Music Publishers, American String Teachers Association, Edition Pro Nova and Earnestly Music.
Blank's awards include First Prize in the George Eastman Competition (1983), sponsored by the Eastman School of Music for his Duo for Bassoon and Piano; a grant (l983) from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of his one-act opera, The Magic Bonbons; three commissions (l979, l988, and l991) from the Virginia Music Teachers Association and two commissions to write music for the Virginia Shakespeare Festival at Williamsburg. In 1988 he won both the Eric Satie Mostly Tonal Award for his string trio, Fantasy on Cantillation Motives, and the Annual Choral Competition Contest, sponsored by the Chautauqua Chamber Singers, for his setting called Poor Richard's Almanack. In l989 he was a winner in the Lind Solo Competition, sponsored by Cornell University, and in 1990 he was awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission of the Arts for a Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra. Allan Blank is listed in a number of biographical references, including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He died November 12, 2013 in Bon Air, Virginia.