Custer, Arthur , American composer; b. Manchester, Conn., April 21, 1923. He studied engineering at the Univ. of Hartford (1940–42). After graduating in music from the Univ. of Conn, at Storrs (1949), he pursued training with Pisk at the Univ. of Redlands in Calif. (1949–51), Bezanson at the Univ. of Iowa (1952–55), and Boulanger (1960–62). He taught at Kansas Wesleyan Univ. (1952–55) and the Univ. of Omaha (1955–58); then was asst. dean of fine arts at the Univ. of R.I. (1962–65) and dean of the Philadephia Musical Academy (1965–67). After serving as director of the St. Louis Metropolitan Educational Center for the Arts (1967–70), he was director (1970–73) and composer-in-residence (1973–75) of the Arts in Education Project of the R.I. State Council on the Arts.
Sextet for Woodwinds and Piano (1959); Colloquy for String Quartet (1961); Sinfonia de Madrid (Madrid, April 28, 1962); Cycle for a Heterogeneous Ensemble (1963); Concertino for 2nd Violin and Strings, in reality his String Quartet No. two (1964); 2 Movements for Wind Quintet (1964); Permutations for Violin, Clarinet, and Cello (1967); Concerto for Brass Quintet (1968); Rhapsodality Brass! for Orch. (1969); Interface I for String Quartet and 2 Recording Engineers, being his String Quartet No. 3 (1969) and II for Ensemble, Slide Projectors, and Audience (1976); Rhapsodality Brown! for Piano (1969); Parabolas for Trombone and Percussion (1969); Parabolas for Viola and Piano (1969); Doubles for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1972; rev. 1975); Eyepiece for Oboe and Tape (1974); Sweet 16 for Clarinet and Piano (1976).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire