Samuel, Gerhard , German-born American conductor, composer, and pedagogue; b. Bonn, April 20, 1924. He studied violin in his youth. In 1939 he emigrated to the U.S. and in 1943 became a naturalized American citizen. He studied conducting with Hermann Genhart at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (B.S., 1945), composition with Hindemith at Yale Univ. (M.M., 1947), and conducting with Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center at Tangle-wood (summers, 1946–47). After playing violin in the Rochester Phil. (1941–45) and conducting on Broadway (1948–49), he was a violinist and assoc. conductor with the Minneapolis Sym. Orch. (1949–59). He also was music director of the Collegium Musicum and the Minneapolis Civic Opera (1949–59). From 1959 to 1971 he was music director of the Oakland (Calif.) Sym. Orch. He also was music director of the San Francisco Ballet (1960–70), as well as the Oakland Chamber Orch. and the Cabrillo Festival (1962–66). From 1970 to 1973 he was assoc. conductor of the Los Angeles Phil. He also was on the faculty of the Calif. Inst. of the Arts in Valencia from 1972 to 1976. In 1976 he became director of orchestral activities at the Univ. of Cincinnati Coll.-Cons. of Music, where he was music director of its Philharmonia Orch. until 1997. He also was music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orch. from 1983 to 1991. In 1997 he became music director of the Cosmopolitan Orch. in N.Y. As a guest conductor, he appeared with orchs. throughout North America and abroad. In 1994 he won the Alice M. Ditson Award. In his compositions, Samuel has pursued a contemporary path.
DRAMATIC : Again, ballet music (1982); Nicholas and Conception, ballet (1987). ORCH .: Looking at Orpheus Looking (1971); Into Flight From (1972); Requiem for Survivors (1974); Cold When the Drum Sounds for Dawn (1975); On a Dream for Viola and Orch. (1977); Out of Time, short sym. (1978); Chamber Concerto in the Shape of a Summer for Flute, 3 Percussion, and Strings (1981); Double Concerto for Viola, Violin, and Orch. (1983); Before Webern (1983); Lucille’s Wave (1984); As Imperceptibly as Grief (1987); Apollo and Hyacinth (1989); Soprano Saxophone Concerto (1990); Outcries and Consolations (1990); Auguri (1993); Tragic Scene (1994); Transformations for Violin and Strings (1994); In Search of Words (1995). CHAMBER: 3 Hymns to Apollo for Cello and 7 Instrumentalists (1973); Beyond McBean for Violin and 13 Instrumentalists (1975); Au Revoir to Lady R for Clarinet, Cello, and Percussion (1976); 2 string quartets (1978, 1981); Pezzo Serioso for 2 Tubas and Percussion (1978); Circles for 3 Percussion (1979); Put Up My Lute for Cello and 3 Percussion (1979); Aftermath for Clarinet and 3 Percussion (1983); Nocturne on an Impossible Dream for Violin, Clarinet, Piano, 2 Percussion, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass (1986); The Naumburg Cadenza for Violin (1990); Dirge for John Cage for Bassoon and Percussion (1992); Left-Over Mirrors for 3 Flutes, 3 Horns, and 3 Percussion (1992); Music for 4 for Violin, Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1992); eft-Over M irrors for 3Flutes, 3Horns, and 3 Percussion (1993). VOCAL : 12 on Death and No for Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1968); The Relativity of Icarus for Contralto or Baritone and 8 Instrumentalists (1970); To an End for Chorus and Orch. (1972); And Marsyas for Mezzo-soprano and 10 Instrumentalists (1974; rev. 1989); Sun-Like for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1975); Fortieth Day for Soprano, Narrator, and 7 Instrumentalists (1976); Paul Blake—Ikon Maker for Soprano and 8 Instrumentalists (1979); What of My Music for Soprano, 3 Percussion, and String Bass Ensemble (1979); The Emperor and the Nightingale for Soprano, Bass-baritone, String Bass, and 3 Percussion (1980); On the Beach at Night Alone for Chorus, Clarinet, and Strings or Organ (1980); 3 Minor Desperations for Mezzo-soprano and Orch. (1980); Traumbild for Soprano, Tenor, and Orch. (1983); Mid-Autumn Moon for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone and 5 Instrumentalists (1988); This Heart That Broke So Long… for Soprano or Tenor and Piano (1991).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire