Otto Luening

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"In American music today there's a terrific amount of differentiation, a variety of styles and approaches. And that's the American story: this enormous, broad thing." - Otto Luening

A noted opera conductor, Otto Luening (b. 1900 - d. 1996) as also a pioneer in the field of electronic music. He was born in Milwaukee and began composing in 1906, moving to Munich with his family in 1912 and later studying at a conservatory and university in Zurich. Luening became an accomplished flautist and played in a local orchestra and opera company there before making his debut as a composer-conductor in 1917. He returned to the United States in 1920 and continued conducting in addition to teaching at various colleges and universities. In the early 1930s he authored an opera of his own, Evangeline. Luening went on to teach at Columbia for many years, also serving the American Academy in Rome as a trustee and, occasionally, as composer-in-residence. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received numerous other cultural awards.

After retiring from Columbia in 1970, he taught briefly at the Juilliard School, and in 1980 he wrote a comprehensive autobiography, The Odyssey of an American Composer. In 1944 Luening became chairman of the music department at Barnard and music director of Columbia's Brander Matthews Theatre; in this capacity he conducted the premieres of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium (1946) and Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All (1947). In 1949 he was appointed professor of music at Columbia. Under his leadership, the University continued to present many important operatic works, among them the world premiere of Benjamin Britten and W. H. Auden's Paul Bunyan.

Following years of experimentation with electronic, or electroacoustic, music—Fantasy in Space (1952) was an early effort—in 1959 Luening founded the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, now the Computer Music Center, along with Vladimir Ussachevsky. The center was the first in the United States devoted to the music described by Grove Music Online as that "in which electronic technology . . . is used to access, generate, explore, and configure sound materials," and provided a home for early electroacoustic composers.

From the late 1940s until his retirement, Luening served as Columbia's principal instructor in musical composition; among his students were Marvin David Levy, Charles Dodge, Harvey Sollberger, and John Corigliano. In 1965, with Jack Beeson and then-provost Jacques Barzun, he inaugurated the University's doctoral program in composition. In recognition of his many achievements, Luening received an honorary degree from the University in 1981.

ACE Publications

1 ACH WER BRINGT DIE SCHÖNEN TAGE (1932)
soprano,fl,pf (or harp)

2 AH! SUNFLOWER (1984)
vc,pf

3 BELLS OF SPENCE, THE (1992)
cb,pf

4 CANON PER TRE FLAUTI (1994)
3fl

5 CANON WITH VARIATIONS (1990)
cb

8 CHORDS AT NIGHT (1988)
pf

luening_chords_at_night_excerpt.mp3

Excerpt - Chords at Night - Marc Peloquin, piano

9 DECLAMATION (1994)
sop solo

10 DIVERTIMENTO (1995)
ob,pf

11 DIVERTIMENTO (1988)
ob,vln,vla,vcl

12 DIVERTIMENTO (1995)
orch:1-1-1-1,1-1-1-0, 2perc,timp,str

13 DIVERTIMENTO (1994)
cl,vln,pf

14 DIVERTIMENTO (1995)
ww qnt:fl,ob,cl,bsn,hn

15 DUO FOR FLUTE & VIOLA (1985)
fl,vla

16 ELEGY FOR THE LONESOME ONES (1976)
1 or 2 cl (or tpts or vlns or vlas),str orch or qnt

17 FANFARE FOR FOUR FLUTES (1992)
4fl

18 FANFARE FOR THOSE WE HAVE LOST (1993)
band:pic-2-2-ehn-2-bcl- 2-cbsn,3-4-2-btbn-1,2perc

20 FANTASIA FOR PIANO TRIO (1981)
vln,vcl,pf

21 FANTASIA FOR VIOLA (1994)
vla

22 FANTASIA NO.2 (1993)
vln,vcl,pf

24 FANTASIA-FLUTE SOLO (1992)
fl

25 GREEN MOUNTAIN EVENING (1988)
fl,ob,cl,2vcl,pf

27 IMAGE (1989)
pf

28 JOYCE CYCLE (1993)
sop,pf

29 LAMENT FOR GEORGE (1988)
vcl solo,or ens

30 THE LILY (1984)
voice,pf

31 LITTLE VAGABOND (1980)
med voice,pf

33 NOON SILENCE (1980)
med voice, pf

34 THE OLD ONES (1987)
voice,pf

36 POTAWATOMI LEGENDS (1980)
orch: fl/pic-1-1-1, 1-1-1-0,pf, 3perc,vln,vcl,cb

37 QUARTET FOR C FLUTES (1989)
4fl

38 RIGHT HAND PATH, THE (1984)
pf

40 SECOND SUITE FOR FLUTE (1964)
fl

41 SERENADE (1983)
vln,vcl,pf

42 SHORT SYMPHONY (1980)
orch:2-2-2-2,4-3-3-0,perc,str

43 SILENT,SILENT NIGHT (1980)
med voice,pf

45 SONATA (1991)
vcl,pf

47 SONATA for cello and piano (1991)
vcl,pf

48 SONG AT NOON
hn

49 SONG WITHOUT WORDS (1987)
pf

50 SONG WITHOUT WORDS (1987)
pf

52 SONORITY FORMS (1973)
orch:pic-3-2-2-bcl-2,4-3-2-btbn-1, hp,pf,4perc,str

53 SONORITY FORMS (1) FOR PIANO (1983) (1983)
pf

luening_sonority_forms_i_for_piano_excerpt.mp3

Excerpt - Sonority Forms I - Marc Peloquin, piano

54 SONORITY FORMS 2 (1983)
orch(2-pic-2-eh-2-bcl-2, 4-3-3-1,3perc,pf,str

59 SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS (1986)
voice,pf

60 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 1 (1924)
3/pic-2-ehn-2- 2-cbsn,4-3-2-btbn-1,hp,cel,pf,org(ad lib),perc,str

61 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 10 (1990)
orch:2/pic-2-2-2, 2-2-2-0,perc,pf,str

62 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 11 (1991)
orch(2/pic-2/ehn- 2/bcl-2/cbsn,2-2-2-0,pf,2perc,str

63 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 2 (1949)
orch:3-pic -2-ehn-2-bcl-2-cbsn,4-3-3-1,timp,perc,hp,pf,str

64 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 3 (1981)
orch:pic-1-1- ehn-1-bcl-1-cbsn,1-1-1-1,perc,pf,str

65 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 4 (1981)
orch

66 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 5 (1985)
orch:pic-3-2-ehn- 2-bcl-2-cbsn,4-3-3-1,2perc,hp,,pf,str

67 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 6 (1985)
orch:pic-3-2-ehn- 2-bcl-2-cbsn,4-3-3-1,2perc,pf,str

68 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 7 (1986)
orch:2-2-2-2,2-2-0-0, perc,timp,str

69 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 8 (1986)
orch:2-2-2-2,2-2-0-0, perc,timp,pf,str

70 SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO. 9 (1989)
orch:pic-1-1-ehn- -1bcl-1-cbsn,1-1-1-1,perc,timp,str

71 SYMPHONIC INTERLUDE 4 (1985)
orch:pic-1-1-ehn- 1-bcl-1-cbsn, 1-1-1-1,perc,cel,hp,str

72 TEN CANONS for 2 flutes (1980)
2fl

75 THREE ETUDES ON THE WHITE KEYS (1996)
piano 4 hands

76 THREE SONGS (for Soprano and chamber ensemble) (1926)
Sop, 2/pic-2-2-1; 2hn, hp, perc, str, pf

77 TRANSIENCE (1922)
sop, pf

79 VARIATIONS ON YANKEE DOODLE (1994)
pic,pf

80 VENILIA (1980)
med voice,pf

81 WHEN IN THE LANGUOR OF EVENING (1934)
sop, satb,pf,str qrt,or ww qrt(1-1-1-1)or mix qrt of strings & winds

82 A WISCONSIN SYMPHONY (1975)
orch:3fl/pic, 2-eh-2-bcl-t sax-2-cbsn,4-3-3-1, Timp,2perc,pf,hp, tape,str

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