Robert Cuckson (b. 1942) — Trope: Agnus Dei (1975) for organ
Robert Cuckson (b. 1942) was born in the UK and emigrated to Australia as a child. Following studies at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, he emigrated to the USA where he pursued further studies at the Mannes College of Music and Yale University. Active as composer, pianist, educator, and administrator, he has remained in the USA and held many faculty and administrative positions (including Dean of the Faculties and Vice President for Academic Affairs) at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He also has taught musicianship and counterpoint at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. His primary composition teachers were Georg Tintner, Peter Racine Fricker, Peter Pindar Stearns, and Yehudi Wyner.
“Trope: Agnus Dei” (1975) is Cuckson’s only organ work. The plainchant material is treated in the form of a contemporary trope, as the harmonies move in and out of focus.