Meyer Kupferman

Biography

Born: July 3, 1926; New York, NY   Died: November 26, 2003; Rhinebeck, NY  
Meyer Kupferman was a versatile and eclectic composer who incorporated diverse elements in his works, from aleatoric music and jazz to Impressionism, from serial music and atonality to Romanticism. He wrote works in most genres, including opera, ballet, symphonies, concertos, film scores, chamber, vocal, and choral music.

Kupferman was born in New York City on July 3, 1926. He exhibited talent as a child, first showing interest in the
Read more violin but then taking up the clarinet at age 10. He soon taught himself piano, as well, then later studied music at New York's High School of Music and Art. Though he pursued music studies at Queens College, he learned composition on his own.

Around the mid-'40s Kupferman served as an arranger for several jazz bands. His first opera, In a Garden (1948), drew considerable attention at its first performances at the Tanglewood Festival and later at the Edinburgh Festival. In 1951 he joined the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, teaching composition and chamber music. He eventually became chairman of the music department, serving in that capacity for five terms.

In 1961 he began composition on one of his largest and best-known collections of works, the Cycle of Infinities, a group of 34 chambers pieces, which he concluded in 1984. By the 1970s he was regularly receiving prestigious commissions: for the Kansas City Philharmonic he wrote his cantata, Comicus Americanus (1970); for the Hudson Valley Philharmonic he composed his Symphony No. 10, FDR (1982), as well as his famous Jazz Symphony (1988).

Kupferman received many citations and grants throughout this period, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1975 and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters grant in 1981. In 1990 Kupferman traveled to Lithuania to take part in a recording of his Jazz Symphony and Challenger (1983), despite warnings of grave hardship there, owing to Soviet economic sanctions. Two years later, Kupferman's provocative book Atonal Jazz was published by Dorn Publications. The composer retired from Sarah Lawrence in 1994, concluding 43 years of service as a professor of music.

That same year he produced his Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, premiered in Mexico by soloist Roberto Limón, a close friend who commissioned four guitar concertos in all from the composer. Kupferman remained active in his last years, turning out such works as the 2002 orchestral piece Invisible Borders. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 49 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Yarlung Records: The First Seven Years
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 96821 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaspar Sanz,  Jason Barabba,  Gustav Mahler,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Sasha Cooke,  David Fung,  Elinor Frey,  Badal Roy  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehuda Gilad
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ciaramella,  Janaki String Trio,  Smoke & Mirrors
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  • 2.
    Barefoot / Joanne Pearce Martin
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 79580 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  John Adams,  Mark Carlson,  Josef Hofmann  ... 
    Performer:  Joanne Pearce Martin
    CD: $19.99
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  • 3.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 476 Release Date: 04/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Gilbert Kalish,  Max Pollikoff,  Meyer Kupferman
    CD: $13.99
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  • 4.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 212 Release Date: 07/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wallingford Riegger,  Ursula Mamlock,  Meyer Kupferman,  George Perle  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Baron
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  • 5.
    Phillips: One Of A Kind;  Harvey, Stravinsky, Flowers, Etc / Rebecca Rischin
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2981 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mark Phillips,  Béla Kovács,  Kalmen Opperman,  Paul Milton Harvey  ... 
    Performer:  Rebecca Rischin
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    The Hallelujah Tree / Maurer, Et Al
    Label: Four-tay   Catalog: 4029 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman,  Dana Paul Perna,  Jeff Manookian,  Miguel Chuaqui
    Performer:  Laurel Ann Maurer,  Manah Atanessyan,  Suzanne Duffy,  John Jensen
    Conductor:  Jeff Manookian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Serenade Chamber Orchestra Of Armenia
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  • 7.
    Rainbo-bo - The Man With The Golden Tuba / Roger Bobo
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 398 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Stevens,  Morton Subotnick,  Meyer Kupferman,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Bobo,  Ralph Grierson,  Daniel Rothmuller,  Zita Carno
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  • 8.
    Superflute - Kupferman, Colquhoun, Price / Garrison, Price
    Label: Capstone Records   Catalog: 5637371981 Release Date: 08/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob,  Howard Sandroff,  Roger Price,  Michael Colquhoun  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Garrison,  Roger Price
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  • 9.
    Orchestral Music Of Meyer Kupferman Vol 17
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 136 Release Date: 08/31/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
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  • 10.
    Kupferman: Orchestral Works Vol 16 - Tuba Concerto, Etc
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 10/28/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Jiri Kulisev,  Roberto Limon,  William Anderson,  Oren Fader  ... 
    Conductor:  Matt Ward,  Charles Dowd,  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stony Brook Contemporary Players,  University of Oregon Percussion Ensemble,  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $35.99
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  • 11.
    Kupferman: Orchestral Music Vol Xv / Fulkerson, Vassiliades
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 134 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Chris Vassiliades,  Gregory Fulkerson
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra,  Cygnus Ensemble
    CD: $35.99
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  • 12.
    Kupferman: Orchestral Music Vol Xiv - Icon Symphony, Etc
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 133 Release Date: 04/30/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Naomi Drucker,  Stanley Drucker,  Jeanne Benjamin,  Samuel Baron  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman,  Meyer Kupferman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra,  American Brass Quintet
    CD: $35.99
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  • 13.
    Kupferman: O North Star, Etc / Maurer, Harlow, Martin
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 132 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Laurel Ann Maurer,  Russell Harlow,  Joanne Pearce Martin
    CD: $16.99
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  • 14.
    Kupferman: Flight Alone, Speculum Symphony / Paul Freeman, Czech National So
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 131 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 15.
    The Orchestral Music Of Meyer Kupferman Vol 12 / Freeman
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 130 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Jiri Kulisev
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 16.
    Kupferman - Moon Music 2000 / Ascher, Begelman, Et Al
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 129 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  David Matthew,  Anne Tedares,  Laszlo Varga,  Igor Begelman  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dowd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Oregon Percussion Ensemble
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  • 17.
    Angel Shadows
    Label: Four-tay   Catalog: 4006 Release Date: 07/04/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thom Ritter George,  Meyer Kupferman,  Walter Piston,  Dana Paul Perna  ... 
    Performer:  Laurel Ann Maurer,  Mark Neiwirth,  Joanne Pearce Martin
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  • 18.
    Kupferman: A Faust Concerto, Among The Windy Places
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 127 Release Date: 04/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Masumi Per Rostad,  William Scribner,  Hector Falcon,  Jane Zwerneman
    Conductor:  Meyer Kupferman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of Baja California
    CD: $16.99
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  • 19.
    Kupferman: New Tunes On Jazz Elements / Kupferman, Et Al
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 126 Release Date: 12/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Kazuko Hayami,  Kineko Okumura,  Ellen Ruth Rose,  Robin Bonnell  ... 
    Conductor:  Meyer Kupferman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of Baja California,  Ariel String Quartet
    CD: $16.99
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  • 20.
    The Orchestral Music Of Meyer Kupferman Vol 11
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 125 Release Date: 10/05/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Laurel Ann Maurer
    Conductor:  Meyer Kupferman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 21.
    The Orchestral Music By Meyer Kupferman Vol 10
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 124 Release Date: 03/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  David Starobin,  Oren Fader,  Mark Delpriora,  David Seidel
    Conductor:  Eduardo Garcia Barrios,  Glen Barton Cortese
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of Baja California members,  Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia
    CD: $16.99
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  • 22.
    Kupferman: Guitar Music Vol 1 / Anderson, Fader, Forsyth
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 10/13/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Joan Forsyth,  William Anderson,  Oren Fader
    CD: $16.99
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  • 23.
    The Orchestral Music Of Meyer Kupferman Vol 9 / Mindaugas Piecaitis, Lithuanian State So
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 122 Release Date: 02/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Conductor:  Mindaugas Piecaitis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 24.
    The Orchestral Music Of Meyer Kupferman Vol 7
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 120 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Performer:  Roberto Limon
    Conductor:  Gintaras Rinkevicius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 25.
    The Orchestral Music Of Meyer Kupferman Vol 8
    Label: Soundspells Productions   Catalog: 121 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meyer Kupferman
    Conductor:  Franz Litschauer,  Robert Whitney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Louisville Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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