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Biography of

Alvin Etler

19 feb 1913 - 13 jun 1973
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Alvin Derald Etler (February 19, 1913 - June 13, 1973) was an American composer and oboist.

A student of Paul Hindemith, Etler is noted for his highly rhythmic, harmonically and texturally complex compositional style, taking inspiration from the works of Bartók and Copland as well as the dissonant and accented styles of jazz.

Though he played with the Indianapolis Symphony in 1938, he abandoned his orchestral life shortly thereafter to focus on his increasingly successful compositional career (which earned him two Guggenheim Fellowships during this period). In 1942 he joined the faculty at Yale University as conductor of the university band and instructor of wind instruments, where he began his studies with Hindemith. He also taught at Cornell University and University of Illinois before accepting a position at Smith College, which he held until his death.

Notable works include his two woodwind quintets (from 1955 and 1957), a bassoon sonata, the 1963 "Quintet for Brass Instruments", and "Fragments" for woodwind quartet.

Etler is also the author of Making Music: An Introduction to Theory, an introductory-level theory text published posthumously in 1974.

Works List


Passacaglia and Fugue, 1947

Concerto for string quartet and string orchestra, 1948

Symphony, 1951

Dramatic Overture, 1956

Concerto in 1 movement, 1957

Elegy, 1959

Concerto for wind quintet and orchestra, 1960

Triptych, 1961

Concerto for brass quintet, string orchestra, and percussion, 1967

Convivialities, 1967

Concerto for string quartet and orchestra, 1968

Chamber Music

Sonata for oboe, clarinet and viola, 1945

Quartet for oboe, clarinet, viola and bassoon, 1949

Prelude and Toccata, for organ, 1950

Bassoon Sonata, 1951

Clarinet Sonata no.1, 1952

Introduction and Allegro, for oboe and piano, 1952

Duo, for oboe and viola, 1954

Sonatina, for piano 1955

Wind Quintet, 1955

Wind Quintet No. 2, 1957

Concerto for violin and wind quintet, 1958

Sonata for viola and harpsichord, 1959

Sextet for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola and cello, 1959

Suite, for flute, oboe and clarinet, 1960

Concerto, for clarinet and chamber ensemble, 1962

String Quartet No. 1, 1963

Brass Quintet, 1963

String Quartet No. 2, 1965

Sonic Sequence, for brass quintet, 1967

Clarinet Sonata No. 2, 1969

XL plus 1, for solo percussion, 1970

Concerto for cello and seven instruments, 1970


Peace be unto You (St Augustine, Bible: Matthew), SATB, 1958

Under the Cottonwood Tree (Etler), SA, 1960

Under Stars (Etler), SSAA, 1960

Ode to Pothos (Etler), SSAATTBB, 1960

Onomatopoesis (Etler), Male singer, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, and percussion, 1965

External links


Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "Alvin Etler"

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alvin Etler. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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