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Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek (1924-2016)

Jul. 11, 2016

Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek (1924-2016)

It is with deep sadness that Schott | EAM notes the death of composer Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek, who passed away on July 5, 2016 in Palm Springs, FL. She was 92.

Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek was born on May 23, 1924 as the fifth of seven children in Pokegama Township (Pine County), Minnesota, where she grew up on her parents’ farm. Already at the age of thirteen she played trumpet in the “The Pangerl Sisters” dance band, using the earnings to pay for her voice lessons. In 1942 she began voice studies at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she also met the composer Ernst Krenek, who taught harmony there. Gladys Nordenstrom soon transferred into his composition class, graduating in 1947 with a Master of Arts degree; in 1950 she and Krenek married. Since then, Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek has indefatigably promoted her husband’s works.

In 2004, together with the state of Lower Austria, she established the Ernst Krenek Private Foundation in Krems an der Donau, which archived and has made available Ernst Krenek’s legacy. She always kept her own numerous compositions, including art songs, chamber music, and orchestral works, modestly in the background.

A memorial celebration of Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek's life takes place on September 24 in Krems an der Donau (Austria).