McGurty, Mark, remarkably gifted American composer whose music possesses an aura of new classicism; b. Newark, N.J., April 28, 1955. He studied at the Juilliard School in N.Y., where his major teachers were Diamond and Carter. He also took lessons in violin with Frank Scocozza, piano with Frances Goldstein, and conducting with Abraham Kaplan. However, he did not at once pursue the occupation of a professional composer or performer, but had to earn a living elsewhere. He was manager of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Caracas in Venezuela (1979–83); concurrently was active as an instructor at the Simon Bolivar Univ. in Caracas, and occasional director for the Opera Nacional of Caracas. His next engagement was with the Opera of the Dominican Republic. In 1985 he moved to Calif., where he worked on the production of recordings for the Pacific Sym. Orch. During all these years, he was intensely working on a number of compositions for theater, orch., and chamber ensembles. In all cases, he favors complex ensembles of variegated instruments marked by a resilient rhythmic beat while the flow of governing melody is never muted.
dramatic: ballet:The Castle, after Kafka (1974); Journey to the Land of the Tarahumaras (1975). orch.: Symphonic Poem (1975); Variations on a GregorianChant (1976); Concerto for Viola and 24 Players (1982); Violin Concerto (1982); Sym. for Strings (1983); Concerto grosso for Piano and Strings (1983); Dirige Domine for Strings (1985); 2 piano concertos (1985, 1987); Concerto for Orchestra (1985); Sinfonie pour un tombeau d’Anatole (1987–88); Oisin and the Gwragedd Annwn (1988); Denizens of the Realm Faerie (1990). chamber: Violin Sonata (N.Y, 1974); Quintet (N.Y., 1974); 2 piano sonatas (1975, 1985); Partita for Violin Alone (1976); 8 string quartets, including No. 1 (1976), No. 3 (1978), No. 4 (1981), No. 5 (1983), No. 7 (1987), and No. 8, Armadillo Quartet (1987); Flute Sonata (1977); Concert Etudes for Piano (1983); Chamber Sym. (1983); Woodwind Quintet (1985); Piano Sonata (1985); Fantasies and Cadenzas for Oboe Quartet (1987); Clarinet Alone (1987); Sonata and Its Double for 2 Pianos (1 pianist with midi equipment) (1987); Whitening for Soprano and Ensemble (1987); Songs of the Gwrageth Anoon for 21 Instruments (Los Angeles, 1987); Sonata for Violin Alone (1988); Scene Concertante for Flute, Harp, and Strings (Los Angeles, 1988).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire