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Elliot Weisgarber: Biography

Elliot Weisgarber
1919 - 2001
Region: British Columbia

Elliot Weisgarber

ELLIOT WEISGARBER, the late composer, clarinetist and ethnomusicologist served on the faculty of the University of British Columbia as a music professor from 1960 until his retirement in 1984.

Weisgarber received his own education at the Eastman School of Music where he earned both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as well as the Performer's Certificate in Clarinet. At Eastman he studied clarinet with Rufus M. Arey. Earlier, he studied with Rosario Mazzeo of the Boston Symphony and, for three and a half years with Gustave Langenus. He held a scholarship for chamber music performance study granted by the late Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge at South Mountain in Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he was born in 1919. His composition teachers include Edward Royce, Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, Halsey Stevens and Nadia Boulanger.

Before joining the faculty at UBC Weisgarber served for 14 years on the faculty of the School of Music at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro). His move to the west coast nourished an already well-developed interest in Asian cultures and he subsequently spent much time in Japan studying the classical music of that country, notably the shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute). His deep knowledge of Japanese music was to permeate much of his own compositional style.

By the time of his death he had created a catalog of 450 compositions including chamber music, songs, orchestral works and scores for film, radio and television. Elliot Weisgarber passed away on Dec. 31, 2001 at the age of 82.



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