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Paul Bowles

Beat Generation icon

Born December 30, 1910, Jamaica, New York
Died November 18, 1999, Tangier, Morocco
About Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles' literary career, as the author of The Sheltering Sky and as inspiration for writers like William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, has largely overshadowed his earlier career as a composer. But he was a skilled composer and an ardent ethnomusicologist who wrote music, especially songs, until his death in 1999.

A contemporary of Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson, he composed three operas, two of which survive.

  • Denmark Valley
    Libretto by Charles-Henri Ford.
    composed 1938
    [incomplete and lost, except excerpts]
  • The Wind Remains, zarzuela
    Libretto by the composer after a play by Federico Garcia Lorca.
    March 30, 1943, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, Cond. Leonard Bernstein
  • Yerma
    Libretto by the composer after the play by Federico Garcia Lorca.
    composed 1948-1957; premiere July 29, 1958, Denver University, Denver, Colorado, dir. Angna Enters

Discography Search for recordings of the music of Paul Bowles at Amazon.com

The Wind Remains


Paul Bowles

Music of Paul Bowles


CD / RCA 63685 (2000)

Bibliography Search for books by and about Paul Bowles at Amazon.com

K. Robert Schwartz: Incidental Music (pp. 28-29, 69)


Opera News

September, 1995

Obituary: Paul Bowles (p. 91)


The Economist

November 27, 1999

Paul Bowles

The Sheltering Sky (novel)

Ecco 1998

Last update: January 1, 2009