Born: July 24, 1926
Country: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Studies: Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles State College
Teachers: Leonard Stein
George Heussenstamm (b. 1926) received all of his musical training in the Southern California area. Winner of numerous national and international composition competitions, he is a member of ASCAP, is an honorary member of the international music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, and is a former member of the American Society of University Composers (now called SCI) and the International Society for Contemporary Music. He was a member of NACUSA (National Association of Composers, USA), in which he served as Vice- President for many years. In 1976 and 1981 he was the recipient of Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eight of his compositions were recorded on LP and five of these have been committed to CD. From 1971 to 1984 he was Manager of the Coleman Chamber Music Association, the oldest continuing chamber music series in the country.
Since 1976 Heussenstamm taught at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, Ambassador College, and steadily for 17 years at California State University, Northridge, prior to his retirement in June, 2000.
Composer of more than 85 published works, he is the author of the book, The Norton Manual of Music Notation, released by W.W. Norton and Co. in March, 1987, and still a mainstay in the literature about the notation of music, making Heussenstamm one of the leading authorities in this field. He has also written a two-volume textbook on tonal harmony, Handbook of Harmony, which was the required harmony textbook at CSUN for several years. It has now been published in two volumes by Hal Leonard Corp. under the title, Hal Leonard Theory and Harmony and is available at book stores everywhere. His Handbook of Tonal Counterpoint, as yet unfinished, is written in a style geared for maximum comprehension by college-level students.
Composing in a wide spectrum of media, George Heussenstamm's compositions have been performed with regularity both here and abroad. He is perhaps best known for his large-scale compositions for saxophone and brass ensembles.
Among his non-academic activities are fishing, pocket billiards, going to concerts, and Scrabble. He was for 17 years the director of a Scrabble club in Glendale, California, and was chosen as Director of the Year in 1991 by the National Scrabble Association. He is an avid follower of national and international affairs, his primary source being BBC World Service over XM satellite radio. Married in 1957, his wife, Mary (1930-2005), was a locally well-known watercolor portraitist. Her book, Watercolor Portraits Painted on the Streets of Los Angeles, has been widely acclaimed.
Works for Percussion
Double Solo, op.26 - Multiple Percussion; Clarinet
Duo for Alto-sax. and Percussion, op.71 - Multiple Percussion; Alto Saxophone
Duo for Baritone-saxophone and Percussion, op. 89 - Multiple Percussion; Baritone Saxophone
Holiday for Percussion, op.51 - Percussion Quintet
Music for Three, op.33 - Percussion Duo; Amplified Bass Flute
Playphony, op.56 - Multiple Percussion; Alto Saxophone
Poikilos, op.32 - Percussion Duo; Alto Flute
Tubacussion, op.62 - Multiple Percussion; Tuba Quartet