originally posted on
   by CRI Recordings
   Composers Recordings, Inc. mourns the death of Otto Luening, its last
   surviving co-founder, who passed away in Manhattan on September 2,
   1996 at age 96. Luening was the distinguished composer of a
   substantial body of music in all genres. He was also known for his
   pioneering work in electronic music, and as an author, educator, and
   arts advocate. A private service will be held while plans for a public
   memorial concert are underway. He is survived by his wife, Catherine.
   Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 15, 1900, Luening played the flute
   and was trained in Europe where his teachers included Ferruccio Busoni
   and Philipp Jarnach. His career in the U.S. included teaching at
   theUniversity of Arizona, at Bennington College and at Columbia
   University from which he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1970. Ever
   the advocate of new works by his colleagues, at Columbia he conducted
   the world premieres of Menotti's opera The Medium, Thomson's The
   Mother of Us All and his own opera Evangeline. In the early 1950s, he
   wrote landmark works for electronic tape and, with Vladimir
   Ussachevsky, established what became known as the Columbia-Princeton
   Electronic Music Center.
   Luening wrote over three hundred works and actively composed
   throughout his nineties. Among his major works are Fantasy in Space
   for electronic tape (1952), Kentucky Concerto for orchestra (1951),
   Sonata for Piano in Memoriam Ferruccio Busoni (1966), Potawatomi
   Legends for chamber orchestra (1980), and the cantata No Jerusalem But
   This (1982). His autobiography The Odyssey of an American Composer was
   published in 1980. His many students included John Corigliano, Chou
   Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, Charles Dodge, Ezra Laderman, William
   Mayer, Harvey Sollberger and Charles Wuorinen.
   Luening co-founded the nonprofit label CRI in 1954 along with the
   composer Douglas Moore and the administrator Oliver Daniel. He was
   also co-founder with Copland and others of the American Composers
   Alliance in 1938 and the American Music Center in 1939. He served as a
   board member of the American Academy in Rome and of the American
   Composers Orchestra and as an advisor to The Rockefeller Foundation.
   He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters in
   One of Luening's last public appearances was at the Fortieth
   Anniversary concert of Composers Recordings, Inc. in October, 1994 in
   the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center where he gave remarks
   from the audience. Joseph Dalton, Managing Director of CRI, recalls:
   "Even into his nineties, Otto took great interest in the condition and
   trends of American musical life and he could always be counted on for
   a bounty of sage wisdom and sound counsel. He was a model of the
   composer as musical citizen and his guiding spirit will be sorely

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Created: August 09, 1998
Last Updated: May 28, 2000