Heiss, John

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Heiss, John

Heiss, John, American flutist, conductor, teacher, and composer; b. N.Y., Oct. 23, 1938. He studied mathematics at Lehigh Univ. (B.A., 1960) before pursuing graduate studies in music with Leuning at Columbia Univ. (1960–65). He also took courses in composition (with Milhaud) and in flute at the Aspen (Colo.) Music School (summers, 1962-63). His training in composition was completed under Babbitt and Kim at Princeton Univ. (M.F.A., 1967). From 1969 to 1974 he was principal flute with Boston Musica Viva. He also played flute with other ensembles and made occasional appearances as a conductor. After teaching at Columbia Univ. (1963–65) and Barnard Coll. (1964–65), he taught at the New England Cons, of Music in Boston (from 1967), where he was director of its Contemporary Ensemble. Among his honors were a Guggenheim fellowship, 4 NEA grants, and annual ASCAP awards.


ORCH.: 4 Short Pieces (1962); Music (1968); Inventions, Contours, and Colors for Chamber Orch. (1973); Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orch. (1977; recomposed as the Chamber Concerto for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion); Festival Prelude (1983); Mosaics I for Flute Orch. (1986), 77 for Cello Choir (1987), 777 for Trombone Choir (1989), and IV for Clarinet Choir (1991).CHAMBER: 4 Lyric Pieces for Flute (1962); Flute Sonatina (1962); 5 Pieces for Flute and Cello (1963); 4 Movements for 3 Flutes (1969); Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1971); Capriccio for Flute, Clarinet, and Percussion (1976); Chamber Concerto for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion (1977; recomposition of the Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orch.); Eloquy for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1978); Études for Flute (1979–80); Episode I for Violin (1980), 77: Elegia for Double Bass (1992), and 777: Arietta for Viola (1993); So-nar-ity for Piano, 4-Hands, Harp, Percussion, Flute, and Clarinet (1982); A Place in New England for Brass Quartet or Choir and Organ (1982); Epigrams for Flute and Percussion (1985); Fanfare for 4 Trombones (1992);Fantasia Appassionata for Flute (1994).VOCAL: 3 Songs from Sandburg for Treble Chorus, Piano, and Bassoon (1963); Rejoice in the Lord for Treble or Mixed Chorus and Keyboard (1964); Songs of Nature for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1975); From Infinity Full Circle, chamber cantata for Treble Chorus and Piano (1979); Duple Play for Soprano Vocalise, String Quartet, and Woodwind Quartet (1984); Songs from James Joyce for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1986).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire