Dempster, Stuart (Ross)

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Dempster, Stuart (Ross)

Dempster, Stuart (Ross) , American trombonist and composer; b. Berkeley, Calif., July 7, 1936. He studied at San Francisco State Coll. (B.A. in perf., 1958; M.A. in composition, 1967) and also had private Trombone instruction from A.B. Moore, Orlando Giosi, and John Klock. He taught at the San Francisco Cons, of Music (1961–66) and at Calif. State Coll. at Hayward (1963–66); in 1968 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Wash, in Seattle. From 1962 he made tours as a Trombone virtuoso. He received a Fulbright-Hays Award as a senior scholar in Australia (1973) and a Guggenheim fellowship (1981). He has made a special study of trombone music, both past and present, and has commissioned and premiered many WORKS for his instrument. His interests also include non-Western instruments, especially the Australian didjeridu. He publ. the study The Modern Trombone: A Definition of Its Idioms (Berkeley, Calif., 1979).


5 pieces for Brass Quintet (1957–59); Bass Trombone Sonata (1961); Adagio and Canonic Variations for Brass Quintet (1962); Chamber Music 12 for Voice and Trombones (1964); The Road Not Taken for Voice, Chorus, and Orch. (1967); 10 Grand Hosery, mixed media ballet (1971–72); Life Begins at 40, concert series and musical gallery show (1976); Didjeridervish for Didjeridu (1976); Hornfinder for Trombone and Audience (1982); Aix en Providence for Multiple Trombones (1983); JDBBBDJ for Didjeridu and Audience (1983); Sound Massage Parlor for Didjeridu, Garden Hoses, Shell, and Audience (1986); SWAMI (State of Washington as a Musical Instrument), performance piece for the state of Washington centennial (1987–89).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire