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Yaddo Elects Librarian Susan Brynteson and Composer Daron Hagen Lifetime Members

Susan Brynteson
Susan Brynteson
Daron Hagen
Daron Hagen

- At the annual meeting of Yaddo's membership and board earlier this month in Saratoga Springs, Susan Brynteson, the May Morris Director of Libraries at the University of Delaware, and Daron Hagen, the renowned composer, were elected to the honor of lifetime membership in the Corporation.

"Part of the magic of Yaddo is the loyalty and love that it elicits among the artists who are transformed and inspired by their time here, and among those in the business and educational communities who understand how valuable the gift of time and space is to artists," said Elaina Richardson, Yaddo's president. "Yaddo couldn't continue to provide this haven without many people's hard work, especially among our members. And sometimes certain people's efforts are so extraordinary, as with Susan Brynteson and Daron Hagen, that they are elected to lifetime membership. It is the institution's way of honoring its most beloved and vital members."

Peter Gould, chairman of the board of directors of The Corporation of Yaddo, said, "Susan Brynteson, in her voluntary service as Yaddo's librarian, cared for and helped save the Yaddo archives, one of the most important American collections of documents and objects spanning the history of 20th century literature, music, and art. This appointment is but a token of the gratitude that the Corporation of Yaddo has for her ongoing efforts. Daron Hagen, the noted contemporary composer, has been a tireless advocate for Yaddo as well, and, as curator of the Yaddo/Copland Concerts, he has revivified a tradition of supporting contemporary American music that dates back to Aaron Copland's famous Festivals of American Music concerts held at Yaddo in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. These elections to lifetime membership signify the Corporation's recognition of those efforts on both their parts. We are proud and honored to have Susan and Daron as part of the Yaddo family."

Susan Brynteson serves as the May Morris Director of Libraries at the University of Delaware, where she has been chief librarian since 1980. Volunteering her time for many years as Yaddo's librarian and special advisor, Brynteson was elected as a member of The Corporation of Yaddo in 1995 and to the Yaddo board of directors in 1998. Under her care and with the help of several other members, Yaddo's extensive archives of 20th century literary and artistic correspondence, objects, manuscripts, sound recordings and works of art were donated, through a major gift of the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, to the New York Public Library in 1999, where they have been catalogued and where they are now being organized for a major exhibition to take place in 2008.

Among her professional appointments, Brynteson has served as president of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, and served as well for six years on the American Library Association Council, its governing body. She has chaired major American Library Association policy committees dealing with publishing, federal legislation, and intellectual freedom. She is presently chairing the 75th Anniversary Program Planning Committee of the Association of Research Libraries. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago, and is a member of the Grolier Club in New York, America's oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts.

Daron Hagen was a guest artist at Yaddo for the first time in 1984, and has been a member since 1994. The composer of four major operas (all of which are currently in revival internationally), as well as orchestral, chamber, choral, and lyric compositions, Hagen has been sought out and commissioned by leading performing artists and ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Gary Graffman, and the Kings Singers.

Recent premières include Romeo and Juliet with soloists Jeffrey Khaner and Sara Sant'Ambrogio and the Albany Symphony; Susurrus with the National Symphony; The Antient Concert, an opera with the Princeton Atelier; Gesture Drawings with the Vermont Youth Orchestra; Flight Music with the Milwaukee Choral Artists and Present Music; two works for the Elements String Quartet; one for the Amernet Quartet; and Figments, a song cycle for tenor Paul Sperry. He is currently working on Amelia, a two-act opera for the Seattle Opera which is a collaboration with Yaddo poet Gardner McFall, who is a Director of The Corporation of Yaddo.

Over 40 Hagen compositions have appeared on compact disc on the Albany, Arabesque, Arsis, CRI, Klavier, and Sierra labels, most recently the complete, two-disc recording of the opera Bandanna under the composer's baton for Albany Records. Awards and fellowships include two Rockefeller Fellowships, the Camargo Foundation Fellowship, Charles Ives scholarship, ASCAP-Nissim Prize, Barlow Prize, Bearns Prize, and the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize. Hagen is President of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation in New York City.