gunther schuller

gunther schuller

Jazz, Classical and More! Welcome to Gunther Schuller's World

1mo ago
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The story of how Gunther Schuller and Joe Lovano made a great CD, Streams of Expression. Gunther Schuller (born November 22, 1925) is an American composer, conductor, horn player, author, historian, and jazz musician. The son of a violinist with the New York Philharmonic, he studied at the Saint Thomas Choir School and became an accomplished horn player and flute player. At age 15 he played horn professionally with the American Ballet Theatre (1943) followed by an appointment as principal hornist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (1943--5), and then the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York, where he stayed until 1959. During his youth, he attended the Precollege Division at the Manhattan School of Music. He began his career in jazz by recording as a french horn player with Miles Davis (1949--50). In 1955 Schuller and jazz pianist John Lewis founded the Modern Jazz Society, which gave its first concert in Town Hall, New York, that same year and later became known as the Jazz and Classical Music Society. While lecturing at Brandeis University in 1957 he coined the term "Third Stream" to describe music that combines classical and jazz techniques.[1] He became an enthusiastic advocate of this style and wrote many works according to its principles, among them Transformation (1957, for jazz ensemble), Concertino (1959, for jazz quartet and orchestra; one of its movements, Progression in Tempo, has sometimes been performed separately), Abstraction (1959, for nine instruments), the opera The Visitation (1966), and Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk (1960, for 13 instruments), which was recorded by Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and Bill Evans. He also orchestrated Scott Joplin's only known surviving opera Treemonisha for the Houston Grand Opera's premier production of this work. In 1959 Schuller gave up performance to devote himself to composition, teaching and writing. He has conducted internationally and studied and recorded jazz with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis among many others. Schuller has written over 160 original compositions. In the 1960s, Schuller was president of New England Conservatory. He is the author of two major books on the history of jazz. Schuller is editor-in-chief of Jazz Masterworks Editions, and co-director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra[2] 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. Gunther is the father of jazz percussionist George Schuller and bassist Ed Schuller. Since 1993, Schuller has served as Artistic Director for the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington.[4] Each year the festival showcases works by J.S. Bach and other composers in landmark venues around Spokane. At the 2010 festival, Schuller conducted the Mass in B Minor at St. John's Cathedral.[5] Other notable performances conducted at the festival include the St. Matthew Passion in 2008[6] and Handel's Messiah in 2005.[7] Schuller's association with Spokane began with guest conducting the Spokane Symphony for one week in 1982.[8] He then served as Music Director from 1984 - 1985[9] and has since regularly appeared as a guest conductor. Schuller also serves as Artistic Director to the nearby Festival at Sandpoint.[10] His modernist orchestral work "Where the World Ends", organized in four movements corresponding to those of a symphony, premiered at the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2009.