Elliott Schwartz in Memoriam


PCM mourns the passing of celebrated composer Elliott Schwartz. Elliott has been a friend of the Conservatory since our founding, having served on the advisory board, and giving many lectures over the years.¬†Elliot Schwartz founded PCM’s Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival and organized the event in its first 8 years.

Elliott Schwartz was born in 1936 in New York City and studied composition with Otto Luening and Jack Beeson at Columbia University. He served on the music faculty at Bowdoin University for 43 years, twelve of them as department chair. His many extended residencies and/or visiting professorships include Ohio State University, the University of California (San Diego and Santa Barbara), Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge. His compositions have been performed by such groups as the Minnesota Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands and featured at numerous international music centers and festivals including Tanglewood, the Library of Congress, Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), DeIjsbreker (Amsterdam), Music of the Americas (London), and the European Youth Orchestra Festival (Copenhagen).

Leading orchestras and chamber ensembles have recorded his music for New World, CRI, Albany, Innova, Capstone and other labels. Honors and awards for his compositions include the Gaudeamus Foundation (Netherlands), the Rockefeller Foundation (two Bellagio residencies), and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the course of his career he served as president of The College Music Society, president of the Society of Composers, Inc, vice-president of the American Music Center, and board member of the American Composers Alliance. During 2006, his seventieth birth-year was celebrated with concerts and guest lectures at Oxford, the Royal Academy of Music in London, Butler University, Concordia College, the University of Minnesota, the ACA Festival in New York, and the Library of Congress. The Kreutzer Quartet premiered his most recent composition, String Quartet No. 3: Portrait (of Deedee), this past spring in London.