Austin, Larry (Don)

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Austin, Larry (Don)

Austin, Larry (Don), American composer and teacher; b. Duncan, Okla., Sept. 12, 1930. He was a student of Archer at the Univ. of N. Tex. in Dentón (B.M.E., 1951; M.M., 1952). After studies with Milhaud at Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif, (summer, 1955), he pursued graduate training with Imbrie at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (1955–58). He later studied electronic music at the San Francisco Tape Music Center (1965–66), and computer music at Stanford Univ. (summer, 1969) and the Mass. Inst. of Technology (summer, 1978). In 1958 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Calif, at Davis, where he was a prof. and director of its bands (1958–72), and founder and co-director of its New Music Ensemble (1963–68). In 1966 he also helped to found the unique and invaluable avant-garde music journal Source, which he ed. until it suspended publication in 1972. From 1972 to 1978 Austin was a prof. at the Univ. of S. Fla. in Tampa, where he was chairman of the music dept. (1972–73) and founder-director of the Systems Complex for the Studio and Performing Arts (1972–78). In 1978 he became a prof. at the Univ. of N. Tex., where he was director of the electronic music center (1981–82) and founder–director of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (1982–91; 1993–96). In 1996 he retired from his professorship. He was co–founder and president of the Consortium to Distribute Computer Music (from 1986) and president of the International Computer Music Assn. (1990–94). With T. Clark, he publ. the textbook Learning to Compose: Modes, Materials, and Models of Musical Invention (Dubuque, 1989). He has received many commissions, grants, and awards. His compositions have been widely performed and recorded, including his complete realization of Ives’s Universe Symphonyin 1994. In 1996 he became the first American composer to receive the Magistère prize at the International Electroacoustic Music Competition in Bourges for his BluesAx. Austin’s music ranges widely with utilization of traditional ensembles and diverse combinations of instruments, voices, audio and/or video tape, film, computer sounds, and live electronics.


Piano Variations (1960); Fantasy on a Theme by Berg for Jazz Band (1960); Suite for Massed Bands (1961); Triptych for Chorus and String Quartet (1961); Improvisations for Jazz Soloists and Orch. (1961); A Broken Consort for Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Piano, Bass, and Drum Set (1962); Collage for Several Instruments (1963); Music for Richard II for Shakespeare’s play (1963); In Memoriam JFK for Concert Band (1964); Agape, celebration for Priests, Musicians, Actors, Dancers, Celebrants, Films, Ritual, Sculpture, and Tapes (1970); Walter for Viola, Viola d’amore, Tape, and Films (1970–71); Agape Set, suite for Jazz Band (1971); Quartet 3, electronic music on tape (1971); Prelude and Postlude to Plastic Surgery for Keyboards, Film, and Tape (1971); Quartet 4, electronic music on tape (1971); Primal Hybrid, electronic music on tape (1972); Quadrants: Event/ Complex No. 1 for Symphonic Wind Ensemble (1972), No. 2 for Chorus and Tape (1972), Nos. 3–7 for Violin, Piano, Cello, Clarinet, Flute, and Tape (1973), No. 8 for Viola and Tape (1973), No. 9 for Percussion and Tape (1974), No. 10 for Trombone and Tape (1976), and No. 11 for Contrabass and Tape (1977); Tableaux Vivants for 4 to 6 Musicians, Tape, and Slides (1973; rev. 1981); 2976, text–sound piece on tape (1973); Phoenix, computer music on tape (1974); Universe Symphony, realization and completion of Ives’s work for Multiple Orchs. (1974–93); Maroon Bells for Voice, Piano, and Tape (1976); Organ Mass (1977); Catalogo Sonoro—Narcisso for Viola and Tape (1978); Catalogo Gesto–Timbro for Percussionist and Dancer (1978); Catalogo Voce, mini–opera for Bass–baritone, Tape, and Slides (1979); Proto–forms: Hybrid Musics for 3 Sopranos and Real–time Computer Music System (1980); Ceremony for Organ and Voice (1980); Protoforms, fractals for Computer Band (1980); Protoforms, fractals for Cello Choir and Computer Band (1981); Canadian Coastlines, canonic fractals for Musicians and Computer Band (1981); Euphonia: A Tale of the Future, opera for Soloists, Chorus, Chamber Orch., Digital Synthesizer, and Tape (1981–82); art is self–alteration is Cage is..., uni–word omniostic for String Bass Quartet (1982); Beachcombers for 4 Musicians and Tape (1983); Sonata Concertante for Piano and Computer Music on Tape (1983–84); Ludus Fractalis, video piece (1984); Clarini! for 20 Trumpets (1985); Montage: Theme and Variations for Violin and Computer Music on Tape (1985); Sinfonia Concertante: A Mozart–ean Episode for Chamber Orch. and Computer Music Narrative (1986); Concertante Cibernetica, interactions for Performer and Synclavier (1987); Euphonia 2344, intermezzo for Voices and Computer Music on Tape (1988); Snare Drum Cycles for Snare Dum (1989); Transmission 2: The Great Excursion for Chorus, Computer Music Ensemble, and Recorded Dialogue (1989–90); SoundPoemSet: Pauline Oliveros/]erry Hunt/Morton Subotnick/ David Tudor, computer music on tape (1991); La Barbara: The Name/The Sounds/The Music for Voice and Computer Music (1991); Accidents 2, sound projections for Piano and Computer Music (1992); Rompido!Music for Dance and Sculpture for Percussionist and Computer Music on Tape (1993); Variations–...beyond Pierrot, sound–play for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, Hypermedia System, and Computer Music on Tape (1993–95); Shin–Edo: CityscapeSet for Computer Music on Tape (1994–96); BluesAx for Saxophone and Computer Music on Tape (1995); Singing!...the music of my own time, sound–portrait for Voice and Octophonic Computer Music (1996–99); Djuro’s Tree, octophonic computer music (1997); Tarogato! for Tarogato, Dancer(s), and Octophonic Computer Music on Tape (1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Austin, Larry (Don)

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