Elliott Schwartz

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Elliott Schwartz ca.2006 Photo Erik Jorgensen [1]

Elliott Shelling Schwartz (January 19, 1936 – December 7, 2016) was an American composer. A graduate of Columbia University,[2] he was Beckwith Professor Emeritus of music at Bowdoin College joining the faculty in 1964. In 2006, the Library of Congress acquired his papers to make them part of their permanent collection.

He held visiting residencies and fellowships at the University of California (Santa Barbara and San Diego), Ohio State University, Harvard University, Tufts University, Cambridge and Oxford Universities (UK), and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center (Bellagio, Italy).[3] In 1975 the International Contemporary Organ Music Festival commissioned his work Cycles and Gongs for organ, trumpet, and quadraphonic tape.[4]

Performances of his music include the Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Houston Symphonies, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Kreutzer and Borromeo Quartets, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space and the MOMA Summer Garden (NYC); Tanglewood, the Bath Festival (UK); Leningrad Spring (Russia), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), and the European Youth Orchestra Festival (Denmark).

Recordings of his music can be heard on the New World Archived 2011-01-07 at the Wayback Machine, CRI Archived 2010-12-18 at the Wayback Machine, Capstone, Innova, Albany and GM labels. A CD recording of his six chamber concertos has recently been released by BMOP-SOUND. In 2006, Schwartz's 70th birthday was celebrated with concerts, lectures and residencies at the University of Minnesota, the Library of Congress (Washington), Oxford, and the Royal Academy of Music (London).

In addition to his composing, Schwartz also wrote a number of books, critical essays and reviews. His books include:

  • Electronic Music: A Listener’s Guide [1] Archived 2015-12-24 at the Wayback Machine, Music Since 1945 co-authored with Daniel Godfrey
  • The anthology, Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music, an anthology co-edited with Barney Childs. [2]

He died on December 7, 2016, at the age of 80.[5]


  1. ^ Elliot Schwartz Collection, 1965-2005. LCCN 2016570568.
  2. ^ "Columbia College Today". www.college.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2022-06-09.
  3. ^ "Biography". Schwartzmusic.com. Archived from the original on 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
  4. ^ The Tenth Anniversary International Contemporary Organ Music Festival (PDF) (Music festival program notes). Hartt School of Music / University of Hartford. 1980.
  5. ^ "Elliott Schwartz, Maine's best-known classical composer, dies at 80". 8 December 2016.

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