MURRAY, J. D. BAIN (26 Dec. 1926-16 Jan. 1993) was a composer, music critic and professor of music at CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY. Born in Evanston, Illinois, son of Donald Bain and Frances Lewis (Langworthy) Murray, he graduated from North Shore County Day School in Winnetka, Illinois in 1945. He was a WORLD WAR II veteran, having served in the United States Army (1945-46).

He received an A.B. Degree in Music from Oberlin College in 1951 and a Master's Degree from Harvard University in 1952. He conducted research at the University of Liege and studied composition and counterpoint with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in 1953-54.

Murray taught at the Oberlin College Conservatory from 1955-57, and came to Cleveland in 1959. He held teaching positions at The CLEVELAND MUSIC SCHOOL SETTLEMENT, Fenn College and Cleveland State University, where he became head of the Composition Division in the Music Department. Among his many compositions are two operas: "The Legend" (1987) and "Mary Stuart: A Queen Betrayed" (1991), both of which were premiered by the CLEVELAND CHAMBER SYMPHONY. Among his most remembered songs are "Now Close the Windows" (1949), based on the poetry of Robert Frost, and "Flame and Shadow," based on the poetry of Sara Teasdale.

Murray created the music column for the Sun Newspapers and published widely on musical subjects, especially the new music of Poland. He was also a PLAIN DEALER music critic in the late 1950s.

He was the recipient of a Fulbright grant, two Harvard Prizes, the Polish Medal of Distinction, annual ASCAP awards, grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Joint Council of Arts and Humanities among others.

Murray married Laurie Jean Wolfe on 3 Feb. 1951, and the couple had one daughter, Ruth Elizabeth. Murray died in UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS and was cremated; his ashes were buried in Riverton, West Virginia.

J.D. Bain Murray Papers, Oberlin College Archives.

Article Categories