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Gunther Schuller, conductor
Gunther Schuller has developed a musical career that ranges from composing and conducting to his extensive work as an educator, jazz historian, administrator, music publisher, record producer and author. Mr. Schuller was principal French horn at the age of 17 with the Cincinnati Symphony, and rose to that position seven years later with the Metropolitan Opera. In 1959 he gave up performing to devote himself primarily to composition, and has since been rewarded with the Pulitzer Prize (1994), two Guggenheim fellowships, the Darius Milhaud Award, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Award, the William Schuman Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement, a MacArthur Award, numerous Lifetime Achievement awards and is an original member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. As a conductor, Mr. Schuller travels throughout the world, leading major ensembles from New Zealand to Holland to St. Louis. Mr. Schuller has written dozens of essays and four books, including renowned jazz history studies and a volume on the art of conducting, entitled The Compleat Conductor. Mr. Schuller also founded and led the New England Ragtime Ensemble, and is largely responsible for the renaissance of Scott Joplin and other ragtime greats.
Mr. Schuller has led the Bach Festival, in Spokane, Washington as Artistic Director since 1993.
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