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Celebrating Gunther Schuller's Centennial 2025

100 for Gunther's 100th

Gunther Schuller was a giant in music and contributed invaluably to our musical world. 2025 marks the centennial of his birth and The Gunther Schuller Society has created an opportunity to perpetuate his legacy. We hope you will help us by participating in, and promoting, a tribute project. We’re appealing to you to consider programming his music.

100 for Gunther’s 100th – Celebrating Gunther Schuller’s Centennial 2025 is a project to foster and celebrate Schuller’s creative work, musical worldview, and inspirational legacy – with those who loved his work, and with the next generation.

100 performances  We hope you can help us reach the goal of 100 performances in calendar years 2025 and 2026 that will be promoted via The Gunther Schuller Society.

100 pieces   The Gunther Schuller Society has created a list of 100 pieces recommended for programming by conservatories / universities and professionals – for various forces from solo instruments to largest orchestra; jazz and ragtime to opera.


100th birthday   Click the Centennial dropdown in our menu for details about this celebration, and more about Gunther Schuller – born November 22, 1925.

The Gunther Schuller Society will support performances by:

  • Suggesting music to program (click here to see our list of recommendations)

  • Promoting your performance on our website, Facebook page, and email newsletters

  • Providing a pre-concert video about Schuller and program notes

  • Schedules permitting, a guest speaker from our organization to give a pre-concert talk/Q&A

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form so we can build our list of 100 performances. We also deeply appreciate your help in forwarding this information to colleagues who may be interested in taking part as well.


See below for more information about Gunther Schuller. 


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About Gunther Schuller

Schuller’s values and artistic worldview are very much of our time. He was an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion long before the world caught up with such essential thinking. He was an advocate for breaking down those discriminating barriers that he observed as a young man. Gunther frequently stated, “All musics are created equal.” He thought of underrecognized people in the same way that he thought of “underdog” instruments: wishing to elevate all to the highest level.


Schuller always recognized and revered excellence. By age 13, young Gunther was already a prodigious classical musician. One night, he declared to his father (a violinist in the New York Philharmonic), “You know, Dad, that music I heard last night by Ellington? Well, that [jazz] music is as great as any classical music … It’s perfect, just as perfect.” Schuller wrote in his autobiography, “In due course, I began to devote my energies equally to both musics.”  


He coined the term “Third Stream” in 1957 to describe a fusion of jazz and classical music – which grew to also embrace all World musics. He created the New England Ragtime Ensemble in 1972 dedicated to the music of Scott Joplin and other ragtime composers, that led to the ragtime revival. These sensibilities and values are imbued in many of his original works.




Gunther Schuller was born in New York on November 22, 1925. As a teenage prodigy he played French horn with the American Ballet Theater, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. At the same time, he collaborated with jazz greats Miles Davis, John Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, J.J. Johnson, George Russell and Joe Lovano, among others. After achieving success as a composer of the first rank, Schuller as teacher and mentor was artistic director of the Tanglewood Music Center and later at The Festival at Sandpoint (Idaho). As president of the New England Conservatory for a decade, Schuller transformed the school, including by establishing the first degree-granting jazz program in a conservatory. Schuller was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, William Schuman Award, MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, Gold Medal for Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Downbeat Lifetime Achievement Award, Edward MacDowell Medal, three Grammys, an inaugural membership in the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He wrote numerous articles and six books including his autobiography, Gunther Schuller: A Life in Pursuit of Music and Beauty. Indefatigable as a creator, he composed, conducted and wrote, immersed in music, until days before his death at the age of 89 in Boston on June 21, 2015.


About The Gunther Schuller Society

The Gunther Schuller Society was created by colleagues of Gunther Schuller as a vehicle for perpetuating and enhancing the legacy of this compleat musician: composer, author, conductor, horn player, educator and musical visionary. Our mission is to preserve and illuminate the work of Gunther Schuller, and to perpetuate his ideals in the development of curiosity, innovation, and character in today’s artists and society. Learn more about our organization here.

100 Performances

100 Performances

Promote Your Performance

Fill out our Google Form with information about your performance. If there are multiple performances in a sequence, submit one form. Include a note at the bottom with the additional dates, times, and locations.

Promote Your Performance
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