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Gunther Schuller to receive prestigious honor at MacDowell Colony

By Globe Staff 

Congrats to Gunther Schuller, the former New England Conservatory president (and composer, conductor, author, educator, producer, and virtuoso hornist) on being chosen to receive the 2015 Edward MacDowell Medal. It will be awarded on Schuller’s 90th birthday in August at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H. The celebrated artist colony has awarded the medal every year since 1960 “to an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field.” The list of past recipients is impressive and includes Aaron Copland, Robert Frost, Georgia O’Keeffe , Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Betye Saar. “It was easy for the selection committee to choose Gunther,” Augusta Read Thomas, of the Edward MacDowell Medal Selection Committee, said in a statement. “He’s a composer’s composer with laser-sharp ears, a sensitive, fertile, creative mind, endless energy, and a generous, humane soul.” Schuller was NEC president from 1967-1977 and established the first accredited jazz studies program at a US music conservatory.