- Robert Starer
Robert Starer (born 1924 in
Vienna– died 2001 in Kingston, New York) was an Austrian-born American composerand pianist.
Robert Starer began studying the piano at age 4 and continued his studies at the Vienna State Academy. After the 1938
plebiscitein which Austria voted for annexation by Nazi Germany, Starer left for Palestineand studied at the Jerusalem Conservatory. In World War IIhe served in the British Royal Air Force. And in 1947 he settled in the United States. He studied composition at the Juilliard Schoolin New York, studied with Aaron Coplandin 1948 and received a postgraduate degree from Juilliard in 1949. Starer became an American citizen in 1957.
Robert Starer taught at the Juilliard School,
Brooklyn Collegeand the Graduate Center of the City University of New Yorkwhere he became a distinguished professor in 1986. He was married, had one child, Daniel, and resided in Woodstock, NYuntil his death. He lived with writer Gail Godwinfor some thirty years; the two collaborated on several librettos.
Starer was prolific and composed in many genres. His music was characterized by
chromaticismand driving rhythms. His vocal works, whether set to English or Hebrew texts, were particularly praised. He composed the score for Martha Graham's 1962 ballet "Phaedra". He also wrote four operas"The Intruder" (1956), "Pantagleize" (1967), "The Last Lover" (1975), and "Apollonia" (1979).
One of the pieces Starer wrote was "Even and Odds" for piano players in their early stages.
He is also known for his pieces entitled "Sketches in Color".
To learn more about life of Robert Starer, one may read his 1987 autobiography entitled "Continuo: a Life in Music."
He is buried in
Artists Cemetery, Woodstock, Ulster County, New York
* [http://www.robertstarer.com/ Robert Starer's Website]
* [http://www.gailgodwin.com Gail Godwin's Official Website]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.