18 Facts About Gunther Schuller


Gunther Alexander Schuller was an American composer, conductor, horn player, author, historian, educator, publisher, and jazz musician.

FactSnippet No. 586,756

Gunther Schuller studied at the Saint Thomas Choir School and became an accomplished French horn player and flute player.

FactSnippet No. 586,757

Gunther Schuller began his career in jazz by recording as a horn player with Miles Davis.

FactSnippet No. 586,758

Gunther Schuller became an enthusiastic advocate of this style and wrote many works according to its principles, among them Transformation, Concertino (1959, for jazz quartet and orchestra), Abstraction (1959, for nine instruments), and Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk (1960, for 13 instruments) utilizing Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman.

FactSnippet No. 586,759

Gunther Schuller orchestrated Scott Joplin's only known surviving opera Treemonisha for the Houston Grand Opera's premiere production of this work in 1975.

FactSnippet No. 586,760

In 1959, Gunther Schuller largely gave up performance to devote himself to composition, teaching and writing.

FactSnippet No. 586,761

Gunther Schuller conducted internationally and studied and recorded jazz with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis among many others.

FactSnippet No. 586,762

Gunther Schuller wrote over 190 original compositions in many musical genres.

FactSnippet No. 586,763

Gunther Schuller recorded the LP Country Fiddle Band with the Conservatory's country fiddle band, released by Columbia Records in 1976.

FactSnippet No. 586,764

Gunther Schuller was the author of two major books on the history of jazz, Early Jazz and The Swing Era (1991).

FactSnippet No. 586,765

Gunther Schuller's students included Irwin Swack, Ralph Patt, John Ferritto, Eric Alexander Hewitt, Mohammed Fairouz, Gitta Steiner, Oliver Knussen, Nancy Zeltsman, Riccardo Dalli Cardillo and hundreds of others.

FactSnippet No. 586,766

From 1993 until his death, Gunther Schuller served as Artistic Director for the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington state.

FactSnippet No. 586,767

At the 2010 festival, Gunther Schuller conducted the Mass in B minor at St John's Cathedral, sung by the Bach Festival Chorus, composed of professional singers in Eastern Washington, and the BachFestival, composed of members of the Spokane Symphony and others.

FactSnippet No. 586,768

Gunther Schuller then served as Music Director from 1984 to 1985 and later regularly appeared as a guest conductor.

FactSnippet No. 586,769

Gunther Schuller served as Artistic Director to the nearby Festival at Sandpoint.

FactSnippet No. 586,770

In 2012, Gunther Schuller premiered a new arrangement, the Treemonisha suite from Joplin's opera.

FactSnippet No. 586,771

Gunther Schuller died on June 21, 2015 in Boston, from complications from leukemia.

FactSnippet No. 586,772

Gunther Schuller married Marjorie Black, a singer and pianist, in 1948.

FactSnippet No. 586,773