Suchoff, Benjamin

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Suchoff, Benjamin

Suchoff, Benjamin, distinguished American music educator and musicologist; b. N.Y., Jan. 19, 1918. He studied at Cornell Univ. (B.S., 1940), and then took courses in composition with Vittorio Giannini at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y. (1940-41). After serving in the U.S. Army in Europe and Asia in World War II, he resumed his studies, first at Juilliard (1946-47) and then at N.Y.U. (M.A., 1949; Ed.D., 1956, with the diss. Guide to Bartók’s Mikrokosmos-, publ. in London, 1957; third ed., N.Y., 1982). From 1950 to 1978 he was administrator of music at Hewlett- Woodmere Union Free School on Long Island, where he also taught electronic music. From 1973 to 1984 he was adjunct prof. of arts and letters at the State Univ. of N.Y. at Stony Brook, and also was director of its special collections and of the Center for Contemporary Arts and Letters, where he guided the fortunes of the COMMPUTE Program, a consortium of institutions active in research and development of computer-oriented music studies. In 1953 he became curator of the N.Y Bartók Archive. From 1968 until the death of Bartók’s widow in 1982 he was successor-trustee of the Bartók estate. In 1992 he became adjunct prof, in the dept. of ethnomusicology and systematic musicology at the Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles. He was the ed. of the N.Y. Bartók Archive edition of Bartók’s writings in English trs. in its Studies in Musicology series, and also ed. of its edition of Bartók’s compositions, known as The Archive Edition.


A Musician’s Guide to Desktop Computing (N.Y., 1993); Bartók: The Concerto for Orchestra: Understanding Bartók’s World (N.Y., 1995); ed. Bela Bartók: Essays (Lincoln, Nebr., 1997); ed. with E. Antokoletz and V. Fischer, Bartók Perspectives (Oxford, 1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire