Weisgarber, Elliot American-born Canadian composer, clarinetist, and teacher; b. Pittsfield, Mass., Dec. 5, 1919. He received training in clarinet from Rosario Mazzeo, from Gustave Lanzenus in N.Y., and from R. Mont Arey at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he also studied composition (B.Mus., 1942; M.Mus., 1943). He later pursued his studies in composition with Boulanger in Paris (1952-53) and with Halsey Stevens in Los Angeles (1958-59). From 1944 to 1958 he taught at the Women’s Coll. of the Univ. of N.C. He also played clarinet in orchs. and chamber music groups. After teaching at the Univ. of Calif. at Los Angeles (1958-59), he was on the faculty of the Univ. of British Columbia in Vancouver (1960-84). In 1973 he became a naturalized Canadian citizen. He received Canada Council grants to study music in Japan (1966; 1967; 1968-69), where he learned to play the shakuhachi. In his music, Weisgarber has composed not only scores along traditional Western lines but also pieces utilizing Japanese folk melos and instruments.
dramatic: Television and radio scores. ORCH.: 3 syms. (1961-83); Sinfonia Concertante for Oboe, 2 Horns, and Strings (1962); Kyoto Landscapes: Lyrical Evocations (1970; rev. 1972); Illahee Chanties for Chamber Orch. (1971); Autumnal Music for English Horn and Strings (1973); Musica serena for Small Orch. (1974); Netori: A Fantasie for Alto Saxophone and Orch. (1974); Violin Concerto (1974; rev. 1987); A Pacific Trilogy (1974); A Northumbrian Elegy (1977). CHAMBER: Sonata for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano (1953); Divertimento for String Trio (1956) and for Horn, Viola, and Piano (1959); Flute Sonata (1963); Suite for Viola and Piano (1964); Sonata for Solo Cello (1965); Epigrams for Flute and Koto or Piano (1970; rev. 1973); Rokudan Henko-no-shirabe for 2 Kotos and 2 Shamisen (1971); 6 Miniatures After Hokusai for Violin and Piano (1972); Fantasia a Tre for Violin, Horn, and Piano (1975); Cello Sonata (1980); String Quartet No. 6 (1980); 32 Concert Études for Clarinet (1986); Clarinet Quintet (1988); Sonata Piacevole for Clarinet and Piano (1990); Music in Memory of Andrei Sakharov for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (1990); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1993); Amadablam: A Soliloquy for Piano (1994).
VOCAL: Num mortuis resurgent?, cantata for Chorus (1963; rev. 1973); Ren-ai-to toki ni tsuite (Of Love and Time) for Soprano, Flute, Oboe, String Trio, and Harpsichord (1971); Night for Baritone, Chorus, and String Quartet or String Orch. (1973; rev. 1982); As We Stood Then, song cycle for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone, Viola, and Piano (1975); Illusions of Mortality, song cycle for Voice and Piano (1975); Canticle for Chorus, Horn, and Strings (1978); 10 Japanese Folk Songs for Soprano and Piano (1981); Omnia Exeunt in Misterium, song cycle for Soprano and Orch. (1994).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire