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Remembering Composer Gunther Schuller

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gunther Schuller died on Sunday at the age of 89. He was known for his versatility: as a horn player he performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and recorded with Miles Davis. As the head of the New England Conservatory in Boston, he introduced jazz into the curriculum. His works “Where the Word Ends” and “Dreamscape” were also performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Gunther Schuller was also known for bringing the works of ragtime composer Scott Joplin back into prominence with his recording of Joplin’s “Red Back Book,” which won a Grammy award in 1973. He also was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for “Of Reminiscences and Reflections” a work he wrote following a creative block Schuller suffered after the death of his wife, musician Marjorie Black.

Here & Now’s Robin Young visited Schuller at his Newton Home in 2000, on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Today we revisit that conversation.


  • Gunther Schuller, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who died on Sunday at the age of 89.

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