Schuller, Gunther Alexander
Third Streamfor his fusion of classical and jazz music. He also performed with Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Bill Evans, and other jazz greats.
As a composer, Schuller used elements of serial music and unusual combinations of instruments. His many compositions include Symphony for Brass and Percussion (1950); Transformation (1957); Concertino (1958), for jazz quartet and orchestra; Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee (1959); Spectra (1960); Impromptus and Cadenzas (1990); Of Reminiscences and Reflections (1994; Pulitzer Prize); The Black Warrior (1998), an oratorio based on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
Letter from the Birmingham Jail; Grand Concerto for Percussion and Keyboards (2005); Where the Word Ends (2009); and some 20 concertos and two operas.
Schuller taught at the Manhattan School of Music in the 1950s and Yale School of Music in the 60s; was president of the New England Conservatory (1967–77), where he formed the New England Ragtime Ensemble; and directed the Tanglewood Music Center (1970–84), where he taught from 1963. He also guest-conducted with many major orchestras, and wrote a textbook on horn technique (1962, rev. ed. 1992), a critique of modern conducting (1997), essays, and historical studies of jazz. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant in 1991.
See his autobiography (2011).
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