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BIRTHDAY GIFT

By JOAN HANAUER, United Press International

Composer Morton Gould celebrated his 70th birthday on the podium of New York's Carnegie Hall, conducting the American Symphony Orchestra in an all-Gould program Sunday.

The program included a world premiere, 'Apple Waltzes,' which Gould composed for George Balanchine just before his death. When the slim, dapper Gould came out to conduct the final number the orchestra rose and played 'Happy Birthday.' A cake was brought out, and best wishes from President Reagan, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and New York Mayor Ed Koch were read. The Morton Gould Fund for American Music for the performance of newly commissioned or underexposed works by American composers was announced. 'That's the nicest birthday present I could have wished,' Gould said.

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