Alumni Spotlight: Robert Muczynski class 1/47

Robert Muczynski
Robert Muczynski

Since the early ‘1960s, Muczynski has been the recipient of a consistent stream of awards and commissions, and his works are often selected as test pieces for competitions. He is known as one of the most distinguished American neo-Classical composers of his generation. He attended DePaul University where he studied piano with Walter Knupfer and composition with Alexander Tcherepnin.

After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at DePaul in 1952, Muczynski received commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation in 1953 for, his First Symphony and from the Louisville Orchestra Commissioning Project in 1954, the Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra.

At 25, he was the youngest composer accorded a commission and a performance as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra under Robert Whitney. He also presented the work under Nikolai Malko at the Grant Park Summer Symphony Lakefront Concerts in Chicago in June of 1958. That same year he also performed the work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall. The concerto was recorded and released under the Louisville label.

Muczynski received two fellowships from the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Prolect (1959-62), Today his compositions are performed frequently in Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well as throughout the United States. ln 1961, Muczynski composed a Sonata for Flute and Piano. The work won a top prize at the Concours lnternationale in Nice, France, where it attracted the attention of Jean-Pierre Rampal, who took it up immediately. The Flute Sonata is probably Muczynski’s most widely performed work, with an international reputation among flutists. Muczynski has concentrated primarily on piano solo and chamber music. Muczynski’s Orchestral works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra (United States), D.C., the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra and others abroad.

Robert Muczynski passed away in Tucson, Arizona in May of 2010.

 Notable works

  • Six Preludes (1953–1954), Op. 6 – a set of six short pieces for solo piano
  • Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 14
  • Toccata, Op. 15
  • Three Preludes for unaccompanied flute, Op. 18
  • Duos for Flute and Clarinet (Copyright 1991), Op. 24
  • Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 29
  • Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 31
  • Duos For Flutes (1974), Op. 34
  • Maverick Pieces (1977), Op. 37 – a set of twelve short pieces for solo piano
  • Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, Op. 41 – nominated for the Pulitzer Prize
  • Maverick, for trombone, Op. 42
  • Time Pieces for clarinet and Piano (1984), Op. 43
  • Quintet for Winds (1985), Op. 45
  • Moments for Flute and Piano, Op. 47

Why not give his works a listen on Spotify?

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