Gunther Schuller going full steam ahead at 85

Posted on: December 22, 2010

In Tuesday’s (12/21) Wall Street Journal, John Edward Hasse writes, “Most people slow down as they age. Not Gunther Schuller, who turned 85 this year and continues to work in many realms at a pace that would leave many 30-year-olds breathless. The musical Renaissance man has had, by his own accounting, seven often-simultaneous careers: As a French hornist, he got his first job with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 17 and performed on Miles Davis’s seminal ‘Birth of the Cool’ recordings. As a conductor, he has served as musical director of the Berkshire Music Festival (now called Tanglewood) and has led orchestras throughout the world. … He recently completed the first volume of his memoirs, which takes his story to 1960, when he gave up playing the French horn and began conducting (it is in production at the University of Rochester Press). … As principal hornist with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, he lived in New York City from 1945 to 1959. … ‘I’d finish the opera, and clubs in those days stopped at 4 a.m. And you know, by 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. I had a rehearsal already at the Met. Can you imagine what a fantastic life?’ ”

Posted December 22, 2010