José Serebrier (born 3 December 1938) is a Uruguayan conductor
and composer. He is one of the most recorded conductors of his generation.
Serebrier was born in Montevideo to Russian and Polish parents of Jewish extraction. He first conducted an orchestra at the age of eleven, while at school. The school orchestra toured the country, which meant he was able to notch up over one hundred performances within four years. He graduated from the Municipal School of Music in Montevideo at fifteen, having studied violin, solfege, and Latin American folklore. Subsequently, he studied counterpoint, fugue, composition and conducting with Guido Santórsola, and piano with his wife, Sarah Bourdillon Santórsola. The National Orchestra, known as SODRE, announced a composition contest. Within two weeks, Serebrier had composed his Legend of Faust overture. It won, but to his huge disappointment he was not allowed to conduct it, because he was only fifteen. The premiere was given to Eleazar de Carvalho, who later that same year became his conducting teacher at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home.
He was awarded a United States State Department Fellowship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, with Vittorio Giannini. Later he studied with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood, and with Pierre Monteux. His First Symphony, written at the age of 17, was premiered by Leopold Stokowski, as the last minute substitute for the Ives Fourth Symphony, which proved still unplayable at the time. Another recording of the Serebrier work was released by Naxos, with the composer conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Serebrier's New York conducting debut with the American Symphony
Orchestra was at Carnegie Hall in 1965. At the time, Ives' Fourth Symphony
had been considered so difficult that it was performed using three
conductors at its premiere in 1965, almost 50 years after its composition.
Stokowski, Serebrier and a third conductor (David Katz) performed it
this way. A few years later Serebrier conducted it on his own. He made
his recording debut with the work, and Hi-Fi News and Record Review
wrote of it: "This ... must surely count as one of the great achievements
of the gramophone".
Serebrier married American soprano Carole Farley in 1969. They have made a number of recordings together.
Serebrier's Third Symphony and his Fantasia for Strings
are amongst his most popular works. His style is energetic, colorful
and melodic. One of his most unusual works is Passacaglia and Perpetuum
Mobile for Accordion and Chamber Orchestra. His music is published mainly
by Peermusic New York and Hamburg, and also by Peters Edition, Universal
Edition Vienna, Hal Leonard, Kalmus, Boosey & Hawkes. His works have
been recorded on various labels.
Serebrier has received 37 nominations for Grammy Awards and won 8
Grammies. In 1976 he won the Ditson Conductor's Award for commitment to
American music. He won the Latin Grammy Awards of 2004 Best Classical Album
for his own work, the Carmen Symphony.
|George Whitefield Chadwick (November 13,
1854 – April 4, 1931) was an American composer. Along with John Knowles
Paine, Horatio Parker, Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, and Edward MacDowell,
he was a representative composer of what is called the Second New England
School of American composers of the late 19th century—the generation before
Charles Ives. Chadwick's works are influenced by the Realist movement
in the arts, characterized by a down-to-earth depiction of people's lives.
Many consider his music to portray a distinctively American style. His
works included several operas, three symphonies, five string quartets,
tone poems, incidental music, songs and choral anthems.
© 1998 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Chicago on March 16, 1998. Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following year. This transcription was made in 2017, 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.