Richard Henry Moryl, musician, composer, artist and university professor, was born in Newark, N.J. on February 23, 1929. He died April 8, 2018 after coping with health issues for several years. The son of Walter Moryl and Catherine Hozempa, Richard received his undergraduate degree in clarinet performance from Montclair State University in N.J. He went on to earn his master's degree in composition at Columbia University, and did doctoral studies at Brandeis University and the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin. His teachers included Frederick Breydert, Iain Hamilton, Boris Blacher, and Arthur Berger.
For three decades Moryl served as a music and composition professor at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT, as well as the University of Connecticut and Smith College. As a composer, he received many awards and fellowships, including two National Endowment for the Arts awards, grants from the Ford and Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundations and many others. In 1963 he was a Fulbright scholar in Germany. Over 300 performances of his works have been given in Europe, the United States and South America.
Richard Moryl was the founder and director of the Charles Ives Center for American Music (CICAM), which for over twenty years has performed and supported American composers and their music. More recently, (beginning in 1995) the CICAM was presented at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival for several years as part of the Spotlight Concert Series, continuing its mission of presenting works by American composers performed by local and regional musicians, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and such notable groups as the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble and The St. Petersburg (Russia) String Quartet among others.
Moryl was one of the international judges for the 2nd Annual Dmitri Shostakovich Chamber Music Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1991. Forty of his works are published and ten have been recorded.
Moryl founded and directed the New England Contemporary Music Ensemble which has performed extensively throughout the Northeast and the South, and which has been recorded on Desto and Serenus records. A CD of his piece, Das Lied (sung by Jan De Gaetani and conducted by Gerard Schwarz) was re-released in 2000 on the Opus 1 label. [The flip side of the original CRI LP contained a chamber work by Francis Thorne, conducted by Ralph Shapey.]
In addition to his career as a composer and musician (clarinet, flute and saxophone), Moryl has been a prolific artist and photographer, creating a large body of work which spans a period of nearly 50 years. He has had numerous exhibits in Connecticut and other parts of the East Coast, and has had several of his works included in juried art exhibits in Charleston, SC. Moryl moved to Charleston in 1994 and married Ellen Dietz Dressler. Together they were the parents of several beautiful dogs, most recently Wolfgang and Grieg.
In addition to his wife, Ellen Moryl, Richard is survived by his step-daughter, Michelle Dressler Lomano; step-grandchildren, Tristan Lomano and Cecilia Lomano; brother, Walter Moryl; sister, Arline Frances Durmer (James); and several nieces and nephews. Richard's family and friends are invited to attend his services in Mepkin Abbey at 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road, Moncks Corner, SC on April 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Downtown Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Richard's name to Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary at 5604 New Rd, Hollywood, SC 29449 or the Charleston Symphony Orchestra at 2133 N Hillside Dr, Charleston, SC 29407.
== Published in Charleston Post & Courier on April 15, 2018 (with additions)
== Names in this box (and below) refer to my interviews elsewhere on my website. BD
© 1988 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded on the telephone on October 1, 1988. Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following February, and again in 1994 and 1999. This transcription was made in 2018, and posted on this website at that time. My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.