Celebrating Morten Lauridsen – Coming to USC

Video #1: Coming to USC

Composer Morten Lauridsen, National Medal of Arts recipient and distinguished professor of Composition at USC Thornton, has carved out a place in the choral repertoire of the 21st Century. His beloved works have been recorded on more than 200 albums and the National Endowment for the Arts has named Lauridsen an “American Choral Master.”

In the video, Coming to USC, Lauridsen reflects on his relationship with USC Thornton, both as an alumnus and as a faculty member of 49 years. He begins by recalling his decision to commit his life to music and recounts the experience of transferring to USC as a young student. Completely inexperienced in musical composition at the time, Lauridsen found that the pressure and encouragement from his peers and mentors provided the necessary support to boost the start of his musical career.


In this revealing series, Lauridsen will discuss his student days at USC, the inspiration he draws from the quiet of his simple retreat on Washington’s Waldron Island, the influence of poetry in his music, and his relationship with USC Thornton, both as a faculty member and three-time alumnus. Lauridsen also offers an intimate glimpse into the creation of some of his most beloved pieces, including “O Magnum Mysterium” and “Sure on this Shining Night.”

To view the full archive of videos, click here.