“The rediscovery of the distinctive Minimalist composer Julius Eastman, who died in obscurity in 1990, took a major step forward on Wednesday, when the publisher G. Schirmer announced it would restore, reconstruct, publish and promote his music,” writes Michael Cooper in Wednesday’s (2/21) New York Times. “The publishing deal will ensure that the recent Eastman renaissance … will continue and grow. And it promises to restore the neglected work of a gay, black composer to the modern-music canon. ‘In my opinion, the post-1950 history of American classical music is incomplete without inclusion of Julius Eastman’s contribution,’ Robert Thompson, the president of G. Schirmer, wrote in an email…. Without extant scores or commercial recordings, his music seemed irretrievably lost. But over the past two decades, some of those who knew and worked with Eastman, especially the composer Mary Jane Leach, have been painstakingly collecting and restoring his scattered works…. His younger brother, Gerry Eastman, a jazz musician … said that he was delighted that his brother’s music had been rediscovered.…‘I have a suitcase of his compositions, and some I don’t think have ever been played.’ ”

Posted February 22, 2018