“Composer and conductor Karel Jaroslav Husa, who taught at Cornell [University] for 38 years and conducted major orchestras as well as campus ensembles, died Dec. 14 at his home in Apex, North Carolina, He was 95,” writes Daniel Aloi in Friday’s (12/16) Cornell Chronicle. Born in Prague, Husa earned a doctorate from the Prague Academy of Music and furthered his studies in Paris. He “saw his early compositions performed throughout Europe…before emigrating with his wife, Simone, and two young daughters in 1954 to conduct the Cornell orchestra and teach theory.” Aside from Cornell, where his students included composers Steven Stucky and Christopher Rouse, Husa “taught at Ithaca College from 1967-86, and was the first director of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra from 1977-84.” He “composed more than 90 works for orchestra, concert band, chamber ensemble, winds, chorale and keyboard, and three ballets.” Music for Prague 1968, commissioned by the Ithaca College Concert Band, was “written after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia and [features] such symbols of resistance and hope as a 15th-century Hussite war song and the sound of bells.” Husa won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his String Quartet No. 3 and the 1993 Grawemeyer Award for his Cello Concerto.

Posted December 19, 2016