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Gunther Schuller


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Gunther Schuller (born November 22, 1925) is an American composer and horn player. He is regarded as one of the key figures in contemporary classical music.

He studied at the Saint Thomas Choir School and became an accomplished horn player; at the age of seventeen he was principal hornist with the Cincinnati Symphony, and two years later took up a similar position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1959 he gave up performance to devote himself to composition. He has conducted internationally and studied and recorded jazz with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and John Lewis. He coined the term “” to describe music that combines classical and jazz techniques. Schuller has written over 160 original compositions. In the 1960s, Schuller was president of New England Conservatory. He created the jazz program at NEC, which today is one of the strongest jazz centers in the world.

Schuller is editor-in-chief of Jazz Masterworks Editions, and co-director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Another recent effort of preservation was his editing and posthumous premiering at Lincoln Center in 1989 of Charles Mingus’ immense final work, Epitaph, subsequently released on Columbia/Sony Records.

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  • winslowwinslow

    It was String Quartet No. 2. Serious stuff.

    20 Nov 2008 Reply
  • winslowwinslow

    just listened to a piece of his that emerson q recorded. it was stunning, really really evocative sounds. my mind was racing by the end.

    20 Nov 2008 Reply
  • epp2k

    You're right... I'll need to dig into this.

    4 Oct 2008 Reply
  • zrsullivan

    Brilliant & somehow neglected 'round here.

    6 May 2008 Reply

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