Andrew Stiller


Index of Compositions

Program Notes

What the Critics Say



Andrew Stiller (b. 1946, Washington, DC) studied clarinet, bassoon, and recorder in his youth, but originally intended to be a paleontologist. Graduate studies with Lejaren Hiller and Morton Feldman led to a 1976 doctorate in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo. During that period Stiller was a member of Lukas Foss's legendary Center of the Creative and Performing Arts, performing his own and other avant-garde works at Carnegie Hall, in Buffalo, and on tour. Later he appeared with the Decapod Wind Quintet, the Age of Reason Baroque Ensemble, the Buffalo New Music Ensemble, and Network for New Music.

In Buffalo, Stiller was active in every branch of music: composing, performing, teaching at several local colleges, and contributing music criticism to the Buffalo News. As one of the most prominent musicians in the city, he helped found and lead the Composers' Alliance of Buffalo. With the city's decline as a new-music center in the mid 1980s, the composer moved to Philadelphia. From this base he has developed a national reputation, contributing to the repertoire of major touring ensembles and new-music festivals. Stiller has created musical works in virtually every genre and medium, embodying the encyclopedic instrumental expertise displayed in his critically-acclaimed Handbook of Instrumentation. Recordings of his music are available on MMC 2014, MMC 2105, Innova 516, and Cafua CACG-0074.

In 1991 Stiller founded Kallisti Music Press, which publishes his own music and that of other contemporary composers, as well as neglected early American scores. He has written on music for numerous national publications, as well as the New Grove Dictionary of Opera, for which he was the editorial consultant on contemporary American developments. He recently completed his second saxophone quartet, Two Fixed Forms Unfixed, on a commission from the Masato Kumoi Sax Quartet.

Chronological List of Compositions

(unpublished except as noted)

2004: Two Fixed Forms Unfixed (4 sax [SATBt]): 20'. Kallisti.

2000: Dr. Stiller His Gadget (organ): 2 1/2'. Kallisti.

1996: Mort j'appelle (male voice, va, cb, pno. Text: François Villon): 2'. Kallisti.

1994: Procrustean Concerto for the B-flat Clarinet (solo cl +, 3 sax/ 17'. Kallisti.

1993: The Best of Pierrot Solaire (cl and pno): 13'. Kallisti.

1989: mehitabel dances with boreas (sop and vn. Text: don marquis): 10'. Kallisti.

1988: A Periodic Table of the Elements ( 8'. Kallisti.
[Listen to a
sample of this piece]

1987: The Water is Wide, Daisy Bell (pno): 14'. Kallisti.
[Listen to a
sample of this piece]

1986: Sonata a3 pulsatoribus, with gargoyle and a moral in Kesh (3 perc): 11'. Kallisti.
[Listen to a
sample of this piece]

1986: Foster Song (male & female narrators +, 3 sax/, synth/str. Text: Carol Van Strum): 25'.

1986: A Descent into the Maelstrom (3 perc): 7'. Kallisti.
[Listen to a
sample of this piece]

1985: Just U. & E., Baby, Just U. & E. (computer): 3'.

1985: Two of a Kind (voice, pno, traps. Texts: Robin Kay Willoughby, Gary Snyder): 13'. Kallisti.

1984: The Albatross (male chorus, org. Text: Charles Baudelaire): 5'.

1984: Three Simple Settings (org): 3'. Kallisti.

1984: A Grand Postmodernist Fugue (vn, perc, pno): 8'.

1983: Chamber Symphony (4 sax [SATBt]): 20'. Kallisti.
[Listen to a
sample of this piece]

1982: Letraset and the Mouse Singer (picc, str 4tet): 35'. Kallisti.
[Listen to a
sample of this piece]

1981: Sestina (ob): 8'. Kallisti.

1981: Spanish Follies (2 gtr [arr 4 gtr 1984]): 14'. Kallisti.

1980: Cantata 1980 (S, 3 Bt, str 4tet, pno. Texts: Armand Schwerner, Vachel Lindsay, Victor Moscoso, Judith Kerman, Torquato Tasso): 20'.

1979: Metric Displacement and Shirabemono Trope of "The Well-Tempered Clavier," Praeludium I (hpsi, clav, or other keybd): 7'. Kallisti.
Listen to this piece]

1979: Invocation and Catalog ex C.A.G.E. (bfl, va, hp, mba): 10'.

1978: Lavender and the Sphinx (chamber opera: S, M, T; 4 bn, 2 vn, vc, hpsi. Libretto: Trina Robbins): 15'.

1976: Canonic Variations Divisio Coeli (2 pno, vc): 18'.

1976: Deep Sea Diver (2 cl): 6'.

1976: Three Envelopes (celesta, vibn, bass recorder): 6'. Kallisti.

1975: Piece with Transposing Harmonics (orchestra or band): 7'. Kallisti.

1975: Keyboard Installment (keybd glock [celesta], toy pno, clavinet, elpno, pno, hpsi, org, accn, ondes martenot): 20'.

1975: Ekgmowechashala (Bt voice, ob, toy pno. Text: Elwyn L. Simons): 12'.

1974: & swinging hang (voice, vn or va, pno, drone): 4'. Kallisti.

1974: New Creature (2 altcl, 2 Ehn): 8'. Kallisti.

1974: Oeuvre pour ondes martenot, violoncelle, et accordéon: 15'.

1973: The Ultimate Percussion Ensemble Piece (20 perc., 6 supernumeraries): 20'.

1973: Paganini Variationses (string 4tet): 6'.

1972: Pierrot Solaire (low voice, keybd. [pno, org, celesta, hpsi]. Texts: Diane diPrima): 20'.

1972: Musica Ungetutscht (melody inst, continuo): 10'.

1972: A Christmas Carol (voice, trp, sleighbells. Text: Edwin Morgan): 1'. Kallisti.

Selected early works:

1971: 1-Finger Exercise (cl or altcl): 3'.

1970: The Self-Defined Life (any solo ww or voice): 9'.

1969: Pithekoprakta (6 trbn): 12'.

1969: Small Porgies (vn, va, vc, cb, tuba, bdr): 0'05".

1969: Shook 1 (9 rattles): 8'.

1968: A Hell of a Note (large orch.): 0'15".

1968: Magnification (orch.): 8'.

1968: Electronic Construction (tapes, installation). Composer/Performer Edition.

1967: Cat-house Sonata (pno): 10'.

1967: Ctenophores (gtr, hp, hpsi, 4 perc, slides, tape, live electr): 15'.

1967: March (after Jeremiah Clarke., sax/ 7'.

1966: On an Old Tune (afl, altcl, trp, pno): 3'.

1966: Quintet for Bass Instruments (contra-altcl, bsax, bn, trb, timp): 10'

1966: Fanfare for the Three Billionth Anniversary of the Discovery of Sex (4 cl): 1'

1966: Le Tombeau d'Everett Dirksen (cbn, pno): 1'.

1965: Suite in Five Parts for Ten Clarinets (E-flat cl, 6 B-flat cl, altcl, bcl, cbcl): 8'.

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What the Critics Say

With very slight adjustments he could be a medieval monk of the witty, life-savoring order, and yet transfixed by some private vision... Andrew Stiller occupies a musical world quite his own... [one of] our few treasurable musical zealots. (Buffalo News)

A Periodic Table of the Elements... is an absolute knockout. (Fanfare)

[In The Water is Wide, Daisy Bell] Stiller is acutely sensitive to the emotional power built into [the contrasting themes], and to the cumulative cultural weight of old folk and pop melodies... This is not only a great piece but also a sure fire crowd-pleaser. (Fanfare)

The Water is Wide, Daisy Bell... has to be heard to be believed; it is one of the most effective examples of musical postmodernism I've heard. (American Record Guide)

A Descent into the Maelstrom is a brilliant, almost frighteningly realistic evocation of Edgar Allen Poe's word pictures of the abyss. Rating: **** (Buffalo News)

This weighty tome [Handbook of Instrumentation] brings a new dimension to the word "handbook..." It is certainly the most comprehensive treatment of the subject yet to appear... A painstakingly complete and beautifully produced resource. (Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society)

Hefty and typographically handsome, this volume [Handbook of Instrumentation] is a startlingly comprehensive field guide to the living instruments of music. (Scientific American)

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