The Kennedy Center

Robert Evett


Robert Evett, an American composer and music critic, was born in Loveland, Colorado in 1922. He studied with Roy Harris in Colorado, Springs from 1941-1947. After serving as Chairman of the music department of the Washington, DC Institute of Contemporary Arts (1947-50), Evett studied composition with Persichetti at the Juilliard School of Music (1951-52). An accomplished writer, he was a book editor and music critic for the New Republic (1952-68) and the editor of the Arts and Letters section of the Atlantic Monthly. He was also a contributing critic of books and music for the Washington Star (1961-75) and then its book editor (1970-75). Evett received two Pulitzer Prize nominations, one for music composition and the other for literary commentary.

Evett’s compositions were primarily neo-classical in nature with an infusion of dissonant harmonic writing. His considerable involvement with musical life in Washington led to commissions from the National Symphony, the Pan American Union, Georgetown University, and the Composer’s Forum for Catholic Worship.

Evett composed for many genres such as orchestra, chamber, keyboard, and vocal. His works include: Anniversary Concerto (orchestra), Piano Quintet (chamber), Toccata for 2 Pianos, Trio Sonata (organ), Sonata (harpsichord), The Mask of Cain and Billy in the Darbies (vocal).
Robert Evett


  • Anniversary Concerto
  • Symphony No. 1
  • Symphony No. 2 "Billy Ascends" (text by Herman Melville)
  • "The Windhover" Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (in one movement)
  • Mandonock, A Fragment of Reconciled Spirit