b. 1923

"I'm willing to talk about gay people as a group if it helps the situation. I don't think homosexuality is a very interesting subject, except politically, just as heterosexuality is not a very interesting subject. As well you know, homosexuals are just as boring as heterosexuals. Homosexuality is interesting only insofar as homosexuals are a persecuted minority. (Of course, that's pretty interesting.)"

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ned Rorem is an American composer and diarist, best known and most praised for his song settings. Outspoken, talented, and drop-dead gorgeous, Rorem has gotten himself into some mischief over the years! Through it all, he's written many charming and elegant musical works, and some very revealing memoirs.

In 1966 he published The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem, which, with his later diaries, has brought him some notoriety, as he is honest about his and others' sexuality, describing his relationships with Leonard Bernstein, Noël Coward, Samuel Barber, and Virgil Thomson, and outing several others. Rorem has written extensively about music as well. These essays are collected in anthologies such as Setting the Tone, Music From the Inside Out, and Music and People. His prose is much admired, not least for its barbed observations about such prominent musicians as Pierre Boulez. Rorem has composed in a chromatic tonal idiom throughout his career, and he is not hesitant to attack the orthodoxies of the avant-garde. [link]

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A casual side shot of a very good-looking young, blonde Ned Rorem.