Anyone interested in classical music and/or jazz should not miss reading Gunther Schuller’s new book: GUNTHER SCHULLER, A LIFE IN PURSUIT OF MUSIC AND BEAUTY. It is the first book of a two-volume autobiography, but more than that, a historical account of 20th century classical music and jazz.
Schuller worked with most of the great jazz and classical musicians of the times, played in (as a fine horn player) and conducted most of the great orchestras, and was (is) a prolific composer. In fact, in his 80s, he is still composing lots of new music. The book, filled with so many interesting details and fascinating stories involving his friends who were important historical figures – from Stockhausen to Samuel Barber to Miles Davis, makes for an unforgettable read!
Having studied composition at Tanglewood with Schuller, I also had the opportunity in my student days at New England Conservatory to play orchestral piano under his baton, and observe him as a musician. He was and still is a great inspiration to me, and one of the most fascinating people I have ever encountered.