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Gerschefski, Edwin

Gerschefski, Edwin

Gerschefski, Edwin, American composer, pianist, and teacher; b. Meriden, Conn., June 10, 1909; d. Athens, Ga., Dec. 17, 1992. He studied piano with Bruce Simonds and composition at Yale Univ. (1926-31). Following further training in piano at the Matthay school in London (1931-33) and with Schnabel in Como (1935), he completed his studies in composition with Schillinger in N.Y (1936-38). In 1940 he joined the faculty of Converse Coll. in Spartanburg, S.C., where he was dean of its music school (1945-59). He then was head of the music depts. at the univs. of N.Mex. (1959-60) and Ga. (1960-72), continuing on the faculty of the latter until 1976. In some of his works, he employed the Schillinger system of composition. He attracted particular notice for his settings of exact texts from newspapers, magazines, and business letters in several of his vocal scores.

Works

ORCH Classic Symphony (1931); Piano Concerto (1931); Discharge in E and Streamline for Band (1935); Violin Concerto (1951-52); Toccata and Fugue (1954); Celebration for Violin and Orch. (1964). CHAMBER: Workout for 2 Violins and 2 Violas (1933); Piano Quintet (1935); 8 Variations for String Quartet (1937); Brass Septet (1938); America, variations for Winds (1962); Rhapsody for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1963); The Alexander Suite for 2 Cellos (1971); Poem for Cello and Piano (1973); various piano pieces, including 2 sonatas (1936, 1968). VOCAL: Half Moon Mountain, cantata for Baritone, Women’s Chorus, and Orch., after a Time magazine article (1947-48; Spartanburg, S.C., April 30, 1948); The Lord’s Controversy with His People, cantata for Soloist, Women’s Chorus, and Small Orch. or Piano (1949); Psalm C for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, Percussion, and Piano (1965); Border Patrol for Chorus and Piano, after a Time magazine article (1966); Letter from BMI for Chorus and Small Orch. (1981); songs. OTHER: Film music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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