He studied compostion at the Eastman School of Music with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson then he studied at Julliard. He was a touring perfoming pianist and played with the NBC symphony with Arturo Toscanini. He then went to France and studied with Nadia Boulanger. He was a full time composer until his late 30’s when he went into stock brokering. He was about to quit composing when in 1959 he won a pulitzer prize for his piano concerto opus 9. Since then he has recieved enough commisions to compose full time.