The majority of the collection deals with the trip of
American composer Clifford Vaughan (1893-1987) to Asia (chiefly Japan, India and
Indonesia) with Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers in 1925.
Clifford Vaughan was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in 1893. He started studying
piano at the age of seven and made his debut at the age of twelve, playing with the
Philadelphia Orchestra. At the age of fifteen, he began advanced study at the
Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. In 1925 Vaughan accepted Ruth St. Denis’ offer
to accompany the Denishawn Dancers as Musical Director on their tour of Asia,
Canada, and the United States. After the trip, he returned to New York and was
commissioned by Doris Humphrey to write the score for her ballet “Color Harmony.” He
also worked at the Criterion and Capitol Theaters at NBC.
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