Homer Keller

Biography

California-born composer Homer Keller (1915-1996) received his musical training at the Eastman School of Music under Howard Hanson, and as a Fulbright scholar in Paris, he studied with Arthur Honegger at the Ecole Normal de Musique. From 1947 to 1953, Mr. Keller taught composition and counterpoint at the University of Michigan, and during the summers, worked with students at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music from Eastman, in 1937, and 1938.

Mr. Keller's First Symphony, a prize-winning work of the Henry Hadley Foundation in 1939, was premiered in Carnegie Hall by the New York Philharmonic under John Barbirolli in 1940. His Second Symphony was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, in 1950. Howard Hanson and the Eastman-Rochester Symphony recorded Keller's Serenade for Clarinet and Strings for Mercury Records.

For three years, he resided in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he first taught at the Palama Settlement and the Punahou Music School, later becoming a lecturer in msuic at the University of Hawaii. He was President of the Honolulu Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters.

His work in Hawaii exposed him to Pacific Island folk musics, which he credited with widening his own musical thought with regard to melody and harmony.

In December, 1956, the Honolulu Symphony, with George Barati conducting, gave the premiere performance of Keller's Third Symphony.  Austin Faricy, the music critic for the Honolulu Star Bulletin, reported, "Written richly and idiomatically for orchestra, Keller's symphony alternated between nervous energy and large repose, with a wealth of allusion to contemporary rhythm and themes, and some reference to folk material...Mr. Keller received an ovation at the end."

Keller taught at the University of Oregon in Eugene from 1959 to 1976.

Many of his music scores and some biographical and publishing history documents are with the American Composers Alliance. His official papers and manuscripts are held by the Eastman School of Music Library; The ACA collection is held at Special Collections in Performing Arts at University of Maryland.

ACE Publications

22 title(s)
Composer Title SCORING/INSTRUMENTATION Year
Homer Keller QUIET MUSIC FOR A TREE pf
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Homer Keller SONATA FOR CELLO & PIANO vcl,pf
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Homer Keller SONATA FOR PIANO(1972) pf
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Homer Keller FOR BEHOLD, I CREATE NEW HEAVENS & A NEW EARTH satb,org(or pf)
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Homer Keller SONORITIES FOR ORCHESTRA orch:pic/fl-2-2-ehn-2-2, 4-3-3-1,timp,perc,hp,pf,str
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Homer Keller DECLARATION vln,vcl,pf
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Homer Keller THREE CONSTRUCTS pf
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Homer Keller DUO vln,hpschd
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Homer Keller STRING QUARTET-1958 2/1/2001
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Homer Keller SYMPHONY NO.3 pic-2-2-eh-2-bcl-2-cbsn, 4-3-3-1,timp, perc,hp,pf,str
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Homer Keller OFFERTORY organ
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Homer Keller SONATA FOR FLUTE & PIANO -
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Homer Keller SONATA FOR ORGAN(1952) -
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Homer Keller SONATA FOR VIOLA & PIANO vla,pf
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Homer Keller SYMPHONY NO.2 pic-2-2-eh-2-bcl-2-cbsn,4-3-3-1, timp,perc,hp,pf/cel,str
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Homer Keller MAGNIFICAT SATB, 2-2-2-2,4-3-4-1,cb,timp
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Homer Keller MAGNIFICAT satb,pf
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Homer Keller SIX PRELUDES FOR PIANO pf
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Homer Keller SONATINA NO.2 FOR PIANO pf
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Homer Keller CHAMBER SYMPHONY 1-1-1-1,2-1-1-0,timp,str
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Homer Keller SONATA FOR BASSOON & PIANO -
Bassoon, piano
Homer Keller SONATINA NO.1 FOR PIANO pf
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Additional Works