A Farewell to Gunther Schuller

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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