Hiller, Lejaren (Arthur Jr.)

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Hiller, Lejaren (Arthur Jr.)

Hiller, Lejaren (Arthur Jr.), American composer and teacher; b. N.Y., Feb. 23, 1924; d. Buffalo, Jan. 26, 1994. He studied chemistry at Princeton Univ. (B.A., 1944; M.A., 1946; Ph.D., 1947), where he also took courses in composition with Babbitt and Sessions; later he studied at the Univ. of 111. (M.Mus., 1958). After working as a research chemist (1947-52), he taught chemistry at the Univ. of 111. (1952-58), where he subsequently was prof. of music and director of its experimental music studio (1958-68). In 1968 he became the Frederick B. Slee Prof, of Composition at the State Univ. of N.Y. at Buffalo, where he also was co-director of its Center of the Creative and Performing Arts (1968-74); from 1980 to 1989 he was the Birge-Cary Prof, of Music there. Hiller’s scientific bent led him to explore the application of electronics and computers to composition. With Leonard Isaacson, he collaborated on the Illiac Suite, his 4th string quartet (1955-56), which was the first composition composed with the aid of a computer. With Isaacson, he publ. Experimental Music: Composition with an Electronic Computer (N.Y., 1959).


dramatic:Melodrama: John Italus (unfinished). ORCH.: Piano Concerto (1949); Suite for Small Orch. (1951); 3 syms. (1953, 1960, unfinished); Time of the Heathen, suite for Chamber Orch. (1961); A Preview of Coming Attractions (1975); The Fox Trots Again for Chamber Ensemble (1985). CHAMBER: 7 string quartets (1949; 1951; 1953; 1957, Illiac Suite, in collaboration with L. Isaacson; 1962; 1972; 1979); 3 violin sonatas (1949, 1955,1970); Persiflage for Flute, Oboe, and Percussion (1977); Minuet and Trio for 6 Performers (1980); Fast and Slow for Saxophone Quartet (1984); Metaphors for Guitar Quartet (1986).Piano: 6 sonatas (1946, rev. 1968; 1947; 1950; 1950; 1961; 1972). VOCAL: Computer Cantata for Soprano, Chamber Ensemble, and Tape (1963; in collaboration with R. Baker); songs. OTHER: Nightmare Music for Tape (1961); 7 Electronic Studies for Tape (1963; in collaboration with R. Baker); Machine Music for Piano, Percussion, and Tape (1964); A Triptych for Hieronymus for Actors, Dancers, Projections, Tape, and Orch. (1966); An Avalanche for Pitchman, Prima Donna, Player Piano, Percussionist, and Pre- recorded Playback (1968); HPSCHD for 1 to 7 Harpsichords and 1 to 51 Tapes (1968; in collaboration with J. Cage); Algorithms 1 for 9 Instruments and Tape (1968), II for 9 Instruments and Tape (1972; in collaboration with R. Kumra), and III for 9 Instruments and Tape (1984); A Portfolio for Diverse Performers and Tape (1974); Electronic Sonata for Tape (1976); Midnight Carnival for a Principal Tape, an Indeterminate Number of Subsidiary Tapes, and other events in an urban environment (1976); Expo ’85 for Multiple Synthesizers (1985; in collaboration with C. Ames and J. Myhill).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire