Here is my Friday May 28, 2010 Chicago Sun-Times obituary of Robert Muczynski.
ROBERT MUCZYNSKI | 1929-2010
Composer's works performed worldwide
Also taught, made his Carnegie Hall piano debut at 29
Robert Muczynski, a former Chicago composer who worked in traditional and American styles with rhythmic influences from jazz, died Tuesday in Tucson, Arizona, according to a longtime friend and colleague, Chicago musician Richard Wyszynski.
Mr. Muczynski, who was 81, was born in Chicago of Polish and Slovak immigrant background in 1929. His father was a printer.
After graduating from Chopin Elementary School -- where a performance of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker inspired his interest in music -- and then Steinmetz High School on the Northwest Side, Mr. Muczynski went to DePaul University, where he was an early U.S. composition student of the renowned Russian emigré Alexander Tcherepnin and a piano student of Walter Knupfer. Mr. Muczynski received undergraduate and master's degrees from DePaul in piano performance.
He later taught composition at DePaul, as well as at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and, from 1965, at the University of Arizona-Tucson, where he was both chairman of composition and composer-in-residence. His students there included eclectic composer-performer Paul Schoenfield.
Mr. Muczynski made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut at age 29 in 1958 in a program of his own solo piano pieces.
Over a half century, from 1950 to 1996, Mr. Muczynski produced about 50 published compositions, mostly with G. Schirmer and Theodore Presser Co. His last published work, "Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations)," Op. 48, for solo piano, appeared in 1996. The title of this 10-minute work gave a sense of both Mr. Muczynski's wry sense of humor and his tenacity.
Though primarily a composer of chamber and piano pieces, his orchestral works were performed over the years by ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony of Washington, D.C., the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 1958, the CSO performed Mr. Muczynski's First Piano Concerto with the composer as soloist.
Mr. Muczynski's chamber works, including the now-standard 1961 Flute and Piano Sonata, are widely performed around the world, are staples of wind players and college and conservatory ensembles, and have been recorded on many labels, as well as being the subject of many doctoral dissertations and other academic studies.
He also frequently composed the scores for the films of his companion, documentarian Harry Atwood, who survives him, along with a sister, Gloria.
Burial in Tucson will be private.