UTA, SMU Host Composer, Performer Schuller


The UT Arlington Wind Symphony and Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Wind Ensemble will host world-renowned composer, conductor and performer Gunther Schuller as a guest artist-in-residence Nov. 11-16.

Schuller will be a guest conductor for two joint concerts by the UT Arlington Wind Symphony and Meadows Wind Ensemble. The first will be held at SMU at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Caruth Auditorium. The second will be at UTA at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Irons Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building. The concerts will feature three compositions by Schuller: Symphony for Brass and Percussion, op. 16, which Schuller will conduct; On Winged Flight: Divertimento for Wind Band; and Blue Dawn into White Heat.

Tickets for the UTA concert are $8 for adults and $5 for students and are available at the door. Get more information on tickets for the SMU performance here.

Schuller, who turns 88 on Nov. 22, is recognized as a renaissance man of music. His career ranges from composing and conducting to extensive work as an educator, jazz historian, administrator, music publisher, record producer and author. He was principal French horn at the age of 17 with the Cincinnati Symphony, and rose to that position seven years later with the Metropolitan Opera. Schuller’s jazz career also began as a French horn player on Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool recording (1949-1950). He was actively involved in the New York bebop scene, performing and recording with such other jazz greats as Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis and Charles Mingus.

In 1959, he gave up performing to devote himself primarily to composition, and has since written more than 180 works in a wide range of styles. He has been rewarded with the Pulitzer Prize (1994), a MacArthur “genius” grant, two Guggenheim fellowships, the Darius Milhaud Award, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Award, the William Schuman Award from Columbia University and numerous lifetime achievement awards. He is an original member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

As a conductor, Schuller travels throughout the world, leading major ensembles from New Zealand to Holland to St. Louis. He has written dozens of essays and four books, including renowned jazz history studies and a volume on the art of conducting, titled The Compleat Conductor. He also founded and led the New England Ragtime Ensemble and is largely responsible for the renaissance of Scott Joplin and other ragtime greats. As an educator, Schuller has served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Yale University; he was also, for many years, head of contemporary music activities (succeeding Aaron Copland) as well as a director of the Tanglewood Music Center, and served as president of the New England Conservatory of Music.

At UTA, Schuller will give a public lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 10-11:30 a.m. in Irons Hall and conduct open rehearsals on Monday, Nov. 11 and Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 1-3 p.m. These events are free and open to the public.

The UT Arlington Wind Symphony is the select wind and percussion ensemble at UT Arlington. Conducted by Associate Professor Douglas Stotter, the ensemble has performed at numerous conventions of the College Band Directors National Association and the Texas Music Educators Association, most recently in 2011. In addition, the Wind Symphony has toured extensively throughout Texas, Mexico, and has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The Wind Symphony’s compact disc, Ceremonials, was released by Mark Records last year. Their latest CD, Serenades, is forthcoming. The ensemble is actively involved in promoting and commissioning new pieces for wind band. Recent commissions include works by David Maslanka, Rusty Banks, Andrew Rindfleisch, Scott McAllister, Michael Schelle, and Joseph Schwantner.


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