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William Alwyn

William Alwyn, CBE, born William Alwyn Smith [1] (November 7, 1905 – September 11, 1985) was an English composer, conductor, and music teacher. William Alwyn was born in Northampton where he showed an early interest in music and began to learn to play the piccolo. At age 15 he entered the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied flute and composition. He was a virtuoso flautist and for a time was the principal flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Alwyn served as professor of composition at the Royal Academy from 1926 to 1955.

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Michael Finnissy

Michael Finnissy is an English composer and pianist born in Tulse Hill, London in 1946.
Finnissy's own ablilities as a pianist underlie much of his compositions. A significant number of these are piano transcriptions in his very complex style which typically involves irrational musical rhythmic values, virtuosic technique (in the piano pieces) and intricate linear, rather than harmonic, textures.

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Friedrich Cerha

Friedrich Cerha (born February 17, 1926 in Vienna) is an Austrian composer and conductor. Cerha received his education at the Viennese Music Academy (violin, composition, musician drawing) and at the University of Vienna (music sciences, German culture and language, philosophy). In 1958 he, together with Kurt Schwertsik, created the ensemble "die reihe", which was an important instrument for the spreading of contemporary music in Austria.

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Pauline Oliveros

Composer Pauline Oliveros is a maverick in the field of electronic music. Oliveros' first instrument was the accordion; as a teenager in Texas she played in a 100-piece accordion group that appeared at the rodeo. In 1949 she entered the University of Houston, but in 1952 transferred to San Francisco State College. Oliveros studied music privately with Robert Erickson and began to associate with a loose confederation of like-minded composers; Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Morton Subotnick among them.

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Paul Hindemith

Born in Hanau in 1895, Paul Hindemith was taught the violin as a child. He entered the Hoch'sche Konservatorium in Frankfurt am Main where he studied conducting, composition and violin under Arnold Mendelssohn and Bernhard Sekles, supporting himself by playing in dance bands and musical-comedy outfits. He led the Frankfurt Opera orchestra from 1915 to 1923 and played in the Rebner string quartet in 1921 in which he played second violin, and later the viola. In 1929 he founded the Amar Quartet, playing viola, and extensively toured Europe.

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Simon Bainbridge

Simon Bainbridge was born in London in 1952. He studied composition with John Lambert and Gunther Schuller and is now Head of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His breakthrough came in 1971 with Spirogyra performed at the Aldeburgh Festival and has since composed many works including Viola Concerto (1978), Fantasia for Double Orchestra (1983), Double Concerto (1990), Landscape and Memory (1995), Three Pieces for Orchestra (1998) and Ad Ora Incerta (1993) for which he won the 1997 Grawemeyer Award.

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