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Alex Klassen mus 307, lab 1

Kenneth Gaburo and Antiphony III/IV

Kenneth Gaburo was born in 1926 and grew up in New York City. From an early
age he was immersed in music. He was a pianist, chorister and an active member of the
New York Jazz scene. His post secondary education at the Eastman School was
interrupted by the service in the second world war, which he spent as a strafer bomber
and Jazz pianist in the Philippines.
Following his service he returned to Eastman, earning a MMus. He then began teaching
at various Universities in the United States, before an excursion to Rome to study
composition with Goffredo Petrassi at the St. Cecilia Conservatory. Petrassi, himself a
diverse and influential Italian composer, was even more important as a mentor to
composers of the late 20th century. Among his students were Peter Maxwell Davies,
Aldo Clementi, and Ennio Morricone.

Following his return, Gaburo completed his PhD at the University of Illinois in 1962.
Remaining there on the faculty until 1967, when he left to join the faculty of UCSD,
where he remained until 1975.

Gaburos compositional and pedagogical stance, I think, could be summed up as a

conscious negotiation of the line between system and intuition. This can be seen
through his studies in linguistics and creative fascination with music as language and
language as music.

Though the series of Antiphonies would span his entire mature compositional career,
the 2 Antiphonies presented here were both written during his tenure in Illinois. Both
were also written to texts by Virginia Hommel, and both oppose live and recorded
sounds. The way they do so is striking. Antiphony III (Pearl White Moments)(1963) is
written for chamber chorus and tape accompaniment. It was premiered by The New
Music Choral Ensemble, (NCME). Antiphony IV(Poised)(1967), takes the diametrically
opposite orchestration, using the tape as the carrier of the Text, while the live
instrumental forces create the contextual material.

Source Materials:
Gillie, Esther. 2004. "The Choral Music of Kenneth Gaburo (1926-1993): An Annotated
Survey of Selected Works.". American Choral Review 46, no. 1: 6-8, http://

Paccione, Paul. 1995. "Gaburo--Notes on..". Perspectives of New Music 33, no. 1-2: