Schwartz, Elliott (Shelling)

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Schwartz, Elliott (Shelling)

Schwartz, Elliott (Shelling), American composer, teacher, and writer on music; b. N.Y., Jan. 19, 1936. He studied composition with Luening and Beeson at Columbia Univ. (A.B., 1957; M.A., 1958; Ed.D., 1962), and also had private instruction in piano from Alton Jones and in composition from Creston. He likewise studied composition at the Bennington (Vt.) Composers Conference (summers, 1961–66). After teaching at the Univ. of Mass, in Amherst (1960–64), he joined the faculty of Bowdoin Coll. in Brunswick, Maine (1964). Schwartz was assoc. prof. (1970–75) and then prof. (from 1975) and chairman of its music dept. (1975–87). He also held appointments as Distinguished Univ. Visiting Prof. (1985–86) and part-time prof. of composition (1989–92) at Ohio State Univ., and as visiting Bye fellow at Robinson Coll., Cambridge, England (1993, 1999). He was vice president of the American Music Center (1982–88), chairman of the American Soc. of Univ. Composers (1984–88), and president of the Coll. Music Soc. (1989–90). In 1995 he was cofounder and first president of the Maine Composers Forum. He became a member of the board of directors of the American Composers Alliance in 1996. Schwartz’s compositions are marked by an integration of different stylistic elements—including tonality, atonality, triadic modality, the use of chance operations, improvisation, and serial procedures—into a textural collage.


The Symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams (Amherst, Mass., 1964); ed. with B. Childs, Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music (N.Y., 1967; rev. 1998); Electronic Music: A Listener’s Guide (N.Y., 1973; second ed., rev., 1976); Music: Ways of Listening (N.Y., 1982); with D. Godfrey, Music Since 1945: Issues, Materials, and Literature (N.Y, 1993).


DRAMATIC: Elevator Music for Any Instruments (1967); Areas for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Trombone, Piano, and 2 to 4 Dancers (1968); Gibson Hall for Keyboards and Synthesizer (1969); Music for Soloist and Audience (1970); Telly for 5 Woodwind or Brass, 4 Percussion, 3 Television Sets, and Tape (1972); A Dream of Beats and Bells for Piano and Audience (1977); California Games for 4 to 6 Players, Tape, and Audience (1978); Radio Games, duet for Performers in a Radio Studio and Audience (1980). orch.: Music for Orch. and Tape (1965); Texture for Chamber Orch. (1966); Magic Music for Piano and Orch. (1968); Island (1970); Dream Overture (1972); The Harmony of Maine for Synthesizer and Orch. (1974); Eclipse III for Chamber Orch. (1975); Janus for Piano and Orch. (1976); Chamber Concerto I for Double Bass and 15 Instruments (1977) and III for Piano and Small Orch. (1977); Zebra for Youth Orch. and Tape (1981); Celebrations/Reflections: A Time Warp (1985); 4 Ohio Portraits (Columbus, Ohio, April 12, 1986); Timepiece 1794 for Chamber Orch. (1994); Equinox: Concerto for Orchestra (1994); Chiaroscuro: Zebra Variations for Symphonic Wind Ensemble (1995); Rainbow (1996). chamber: Oboe Quartet (1963); Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1964); Music for Napoleon and Beethoven for Trumpet, Piano, and 2 Tapes (1969); Septet for Voice, Piano, and 5 Instruments (1969); Eclipse I for 10 Instruments (1971); Octet (1972); Echo Music II for Wind Quartet and Tape (1974); A Bowdoin Anthology for Narrator, Instruments, and Tape (1976); Chamber Concerto 11 for Clarinet and 9 Instruments (1977), IV for Saxophone and 10 Instruments (1981), and V for Bassoon, Strings, and Piano (1992); Bellagio Variations for String Quartet (1980); Octagon for 8 Percussion (1984); Purple Transformation for Wind Ensemble (1987); Memorial in 2 Parts for Violin and Piano (1988); Northern Pines for 2 Oboes, Clarinet, 2 Horns, and Piano (1988); Palindromes for Cello and Percussion (1989); A Garden for RKB for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1990); Elan for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1991); Rows Garden for Woodwind Quintet (1993); Spaces for Piano and Percussion (1995); Reflections for 6 Bassoons (1995); Tapestry for Violin, Piano, and Cello (1997); Vienna Dreams for Viola, Clarinet, and Piano (1998); Kaleidoscope for Violin, Contrabassoon, and Piano (1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire