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A Farewell to Gunther Schuller

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Guest post by Loras John Schissel, Music Division

Gunther Schuller died on Sunday and the world feels lighter.
Through example and through tough love he made us:
listen more carefully
listen and judge more democratically
not accept second-rate or second-best
celebrate our American “musics”

I can imagine Gunther Schuller being greeted by a long line of thankful musicians–perhaps Scott Joplin was at the head of that line.

As Gunther once said in his autobiography, Gunther Schuller: A Life in Pursuit o Music and Beauty:

“All I can say for myself is that I at least have tried hard to use my all too brief time on this planet as fruitfully as possible, as productively as I could imagine.”

“The only thing about the prospect of dying that upsets me — that I grieve over — is that I will never again hear all that beautiful music that I have come to know and love. But then some people tell me that I will, in fact, hear all that music — and more — in the afterlife.”

Gunther Schuller
Gunther Schuller

Click here to view a video of Gunther Schuller in conversation with Loras John Schissel.

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