Schuller, Gunther

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SCHULLER, GUNTHER (Alexander ; 1925– ), U.S. horn player and composer. Born in New York, Schuller studied and later taught at the Manhattan School of Music. He played the horn in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York (1945–59). In 1957 he coined the term "Third Stream" for the combination of jazz improvisations with classical musical forms, and in 1962 directed the first international jazz festival in Washington. His interests as a composer ranged widely over both popular and classical traditions, and he made syntheses of diverse elements and techniques developed by 20th-century composers: Stravinsky's rhythm, Schoenberg's serialism, Webern's orchestration, and Babbitt's principles of "combinatoriality." His compositions include a Symphony for Brass (1950); a ballet, Variants (1960); a piano concerto (1962); a cello concerto (1945); two operas: The Visitation (Hamburg, 1966), which is based on Kafka's novel The Trial, and The Fisherman and His Wife, a chamber opera for children (Boston, 1970). A collection of his writings can be found in his book Musings: The Musical Worlds of Gunther Schuller (1986).


Grove Music Online; L. Larsen: "A Study and Comparison of Samuel Barber's 'Vanessa,' Robert Ward's 'The Crucible,' and Gunther Schuller's 'The Visitation' (diss., U. of Indiana, 1971).

[Israela Stein (2nd ed.)]