Zupko, Ramon, American composer and teacher; b. Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, 1932. He was a student of Persichetti at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y. (B.S., 1956; M.S., 1957). Following further studies with Schiske at the Vienna Academy of Music on a Fulbright fellowship (1958-59), he pursued training in electronic music at Columbia Univ. and with Koenig at the Univ. of Utrecht. He taught theory and was director of the electronic music studio at the Chicago Musical Coll. of Roosevelt Univ. (1967-71). In 1971 he joined the faculty of Western Mich. Univ. in Kalamazoo, where he served as a prof, of composition and director of the electronic and computer music there. He received NEA grants (1978, 1980, 1985), a Koussevitzky Foundation Award (1981), a Guggenheim fellowship (1981-82), an American Academy and Inst. of Arts and Letters award (1982), and a Gilmore Foundation Commission (1990). In his music, Zupko has pursued his interest in contemporary compositional modes of expression while attempting to synthesize them with both music of the past and with non-Western traditions. His Violin Concerto (1962) won 1st prize in the 1965 City of Trieste International Composition Contest.
dramatic: Proud Music of the Storm, multimedia theater-dance piece (1975-76; Kalamazoo, Mich., Dec. 1976); Rituals, musical dance-theater piece (1981). ORCH.: Prologoe, Aria, and Dance for Horn and Strings (1961); Prelude and Bagatelle for Strings (1961); Variations (1961); Violin Concerto (1962); Translucents for Strings (1967); Tangents for 18 Brass Instruments (1967); Radiants (1971); Windsongs, piano concerto (1979; Kalamazoo, Mich., Feb. 1980); Life Dances (Tanglewood, Aug. 1981); Canti Terrae (1982; N.Y, Feb. 1989); 2 syms.: No. 1, Earth and Sky, for Symphonic Band (Kalamazoo, Mich., Nov. 1984) and No. 2, Blue Roots (1986; Kalamazoo, Mich., March 1989); Vox Naturae, concerto for Brass Quintet and Orch. (1991-92; Kalamazoo, Mich., Nov. 1992). CHAMBER: Violin Sonata (1958); Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1958); Reflexions for 8 Instruments (1964); Emulations for Piano and Tape (1969); Trichromes for Wind Ensemble and Tape (1973); Masques for Amplified Piano and Brass Quintet (1973); Pixations for Piano, Violin, Cello, and Tape (1974); Fluxus I for Tape (1977), II for Piano (1978), III for Amplified Violin, Percussion, and Tape (1978), IV for Guitar (1987), V for Clarinet and Tape (1987), VI for Trumpet and Tape (1988), VII for Trombone and Tape (1988), VIII for Alto Saxophone and Tape (1988), IX for Piano and Tape (1990), X for Horn and Tape (1993), XI for Flute and Tape (1994), and XII for Mallet Instruments and Tape (1994); Nocturnes for 2 Pianos (1977); Fantasies for Woodwind Quintet (1979); Noosphere for String Quartet (1980); Te Deum Trilogy for Organ (1984); Solo Passages for Horn, Flute, Harp, and String Trio (1985); Pro and Contra Dances for Brass Quintet (1986); Chorale for Brass Quintet (1989); Folksody for Piano Trio (1990); Chaconne for Piano (1995). VOCAL: All the Pretty Horses for Choruses and Chamber Orch. (1962); This is the Garden for Chorus, Solo Instruments, and Strings (1962); La Guerre for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1965); Voices for Soprano and Tape (1972); Where the Mountain Crosses, song cycle for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1982).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire