Recent book details life of famed Cutchogue composer

09/28/2011 1:02 PM |

A new book has been published chronicling the life and works of Cutchogue composer Douglas Moore, best known for his American opera “The Ballad of Baby Doe” and six other operas.

“Douglas Moore: A Bio-Bibliography” was written by Jerry McBride, head librarian of the Music Library and Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford University. It was published in January.

The hefty tome is 658 pages long and retails for $90. Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library plans to buy a copy for its local history room, said librarian Mary Ellen Ostrowski, adding that the book will be for reference use only.

Though the bulk of the book comprises lists of manuscripts, scores, recordings, performances and articles written about Mr. Moore and his works, it does include a chronological biography of more than 70 pages that details Mr. Moore’s life, from his childhood days in Cutchogue, making up plays with his brothers and sister, to his earliest musical inklings and his desire to skip out on piano lessons.

As a teenager, Mr. Moore attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., where he met and wrote songs with classmate Archibald MacLeish. He was two years behind Cole Porter when he later attended Yale University, and inherited many of Mr. Porter’s compositional duties when the older composer left college.

In school, he referred to himself as “a meatball,” Mr. McBride writes, not handsome or popular, but “most original.”

“Douglas Moore: A Bio-Bibliography” was published by A-R Editions Inc. through its Music Library Association Index and Bibliography Series and is available online at It can also be found on Google Books, where the biography portion is available for perusal.

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