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William Mayer (November 18, 1925 - November 17, 2017)) was an American composer, best known for his prize-winning opera A Death in the Family.
Mayer was born in New York City, the son of Dorothy (née Ehrich) and John C. Mayer. He entered Yale University in 1944, but his college years were interrupted by military service (he served as a counter-intelligence agent in US-occupied Japan). Upon his discharge he re-entered Yale and graduated in 1949, then trained at the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music, studying with Roger Sessions and Felix Salzer, and later with Otto Luening, Emanuel Balaban and Izler Solomon.
The composer has written three stage works in addition to his prize-winning A Death in the Family, and a variety of orchestral, chamber, choral and vocal works.