Remembering Gunther Schuller

A video by Bret Primack

November 22, 1925 – June 21, 2015

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A video from our jazz video hero Bret Primack (aka The Jazz Video Guy)

Gunther Schuller: composer, conductor, horn player, jazz performer, writer, historian, administrator, publisher, and teacher…

Like all great artists, his life was full and complex – and merits additional study which we encourage you to do.

Meanwhile, here’s how he got started:

His father, a German immigrant, played violin with the New York Philharmonic.

Gunther attended the Saint Thomas Choir School where he learned French horn and flute. By 15, he was already playing the horn professionally for the American Ballet Theatre. That same year he became the principle hornist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and soon thereafter for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

A high school “dropout” because he played professionally as a teen instead of getting his diploma, Schuller never obtained a degree from any institution.

His jazz life started by recording as a horn player with Miles Davis (1949–50).


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