Gunther Schuller was honored as a Stamps Distinguished Visitor during the 2011-2012 season at the University of Miami Frost School of Music as one of America’s most distinguished musical icons. Schuller is a winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award as well as two Guggenheim fellowships, the Darius Milhaud Award, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Award. He has composed more than 160 original works, with commissions by the Baltimore Symphony, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and others. Schuller was a leader of the ragtime revival in the 1970s and is the author of the definitive books on the history of jazz and French horn technique. He has taught composition at Yale University, served as president of the New England Conservatory, and has been elected an NEA Jazz Master.
Schuller was principal French horn at age 17 with the Cincinnati Symphony and rose to that position seven years later with the Metropolitan Opera. He performed on Miles Davis’s notable jazz recording Birth of the Cool, which inspired a lifelong love and study of the genre. Schuller is also known as a music publisher, a record producer, and author of dozens of essays and four books, including a volume on the art of conducting, The Compleat Conductor. Today, Schuller is artistic director of the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane Washington, and maintains a very busy conducting schedule. He is an original member of the American Music Hall of Fame.