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Gunther Schuller to Receive Edward MacDowell Medal

Collaborated with Miles, Dizzy

Gunther Schuller and Joe Lovano after Schuller's 75th birthday and the 20th anniversary celebration of GM Recordings, Harvard's Sanders Theater, March 18, 2001
Gunther Schuller

Composer/musician/educator Gunther Schuller will receive the 2015 Edward MacDowell Medal, its 56th, on Aug. 9, it was announced by the MacDowell Colony, the nation’s first artist residency program. The medal has been awarded annually since 1960 to “an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field,” according to a press release.

The award will be presented to Schuller in a public ceremony beginning at 12:15 p.m. at the MacDowell Colony grounds at 100 High Street in Peterborough, N.H. There is no charge to attend Medal Day.

Schuller, born in 1925, began his professional career as a teen playing French horn for the American Ballet Theater, before making his mark as a composer and an educator. Schuller’s jazz credentials include playing French horn on Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool recording and composing and conducting for John Lewis and Dizzy Gillespie. As president of the New England Conservatory, he established the Third Stream department to study the intersection of jazz and classical music.

He joins such previous recipients as Aaron Copland (1961), Robert Frost (1962), Georgia O’Keeffe (1972), Leonard Bernstein (1987), Stephen Sondheim (2013) and Betye Saar (2014).

Originally Published