- Gunther Schuller (b. 1925)
- Boston Modern Orchestra Project
- Gil Rose, conductor
When I moved to Massachusetts in the mid-1970s to start a doctorate at Boston University, there was a specific professor I wanted to study with: the formidable pianist Leonard Shure.
But Shure was hardly the only renowned pedagogue in Boston. The city had at that point long been a hub of academic music, with distinguished programs at Harvard, Brandeis and Boston universities, the New England Conservatory, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In certain respects, The Fisherman and His Wife picks up where last year's recording by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and Odyssey Opera, the 2020 Grammy Award-winning Fantastic Mister Fox, left off. Both are delightful, ‘family friendly' operas based on endearing tales, Roald Dahl for Tobias Picker's and The Brothers Grimm (its libretto adaptation by John Updike) for Gunther Schuller's.
The late Gunther Schuller (1925-2015) was enormously influential on the American musical scene as I grew up. He was a Modern composer of great breadth and originality, one of the main forces behind so-called Third Stream Music which sought to meld Classical and Jazz, a major innovator in music education in his leading role at the New England Conservatory, and a musicologist and author of great consequence, writing among other things the classic Early Jazz.