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Chronology of Lejaren Hiller's Life


1924

Born in New York City on 23 February 1924


1938-41

Piano lessons with Harvey Brown


1939-41

Instruction in harmony with Harvey Officer


1941-42

Studied with Milton Babbitt: strict counterpoint, ear training, and composition


1941-43

Oboe lessons with Joseph Marx


1942-45

Studied with Roger Sessions: composition and analysis


1944

BA in Chemistry, Princeton University


1944-45

Studied theory and composition with Milton Babbit and Roger Sessions


1945

Married Elizabeth Hasley on 18 April 1945 in Elkton, Md.


1946

MA in Chemistry, Princeton University


1947

PhD in Chemistry, Princeton University


1947-52

Worked as a research chemist for E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Waynesboro, Va.: researched cellulose chemistry; discovered successful method for dyeing acrylic fibers like "Orlon"


1951

Composed Piano concerto and Suite for small orchestra--first of his compositions to be performed in concert; performed by The Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Waynesboro on 17 April 1951


1952-58

Member of the Department of Chemistry at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


1953-55

Studied the Heinrich Schenker theory with Hubert Kessler


1956

Composed Illiac suite for string quartet in collaboration with Leonard Isaacson--the first significant work to use a computer in its composition


1958

M.Mus degree in Music, University of Illinois at Urbana


1958-61

Assistant professor at School of Music, University of Illinois


1958-68

Founded and directed the Electronic Music Studio at the University of Illinois 1959

Published Experimental music which explained the process involved in the preparation of the Illiac suite


1960

Published textbook Principles of chemistry with Rolfe H. Herber


1961-64

Associate professor at School of Music, University of Illinois


1963

Collaborated with Robert Baker to produce Computer cantata. This piece was prepared with three different computers. The text (by Lee Hultzen, Joseph Allen, and Murray Miron consists of five stochastic approximations to spoken English), was generated with Illiac I. The music score was prepared by IBM-7090 on MUSICOMP. The two examples of computer-generated sounds were prepared with the CSX-1 computer of the Coordinate Science Laboratory. This music was premiered at Urbana on 8 December 1963.


1964

Wrote Informationstheorie und Computermusik


1964-68

Professor at School of Music, University of Illinois


1967-69

In collaboration with John Cage, composed HPSCHD (for one to seven harpsichords and one to fifty-one tapes). "The soli, save one, were generated by a computer program based upon Mozart's Musical dicegame, K.294-d and the I-Ching Book of Changes." -- Quote from Hiller's own program notes. The music was first presented at Urbana on 16 May 1969.


1968

Appointed Frederic B. Slee Professor of Composition at SUNY, Buffalo


1968-74

Co-director, with Lukas Foss, of the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, SUNY, Buffalo


1970

Adjunct professor of Science at SUNY, Buffalo


1973-74

Fulbright lecturer, Warsaw
Worked in Polish Radio's Experimental Studio


1974

Co-director, with Morton Feldman, of the Experimental Studio at Buffalo


1976

Finished Electronic sonata (indoor version, for a four-channel tape) and Midnight carnival (outdoor version, for at least 3 four-channel and 3 two-channel tape recorders with at least 42 loudspeakers) for an American Bicentennial commission by the City of St. Louis


1976

National Endowment for the Arts Award


1979

National Endowment for the Arts Award


1980

Fulbright lecturer at Salvado da Bahia, Brazil
Visited Cuba, the first American composer to do so since Castro's revolution


1980

Birge-Cary Professor of Music at SUNY, Buffalo


1985

Co-organizer, with Hinrich Martens, of a UB computer music exhibit for the U.S. Pavilion at the World's Fair in Tsukuba, Japan where his Expo'85 for multiple synthesizers was performed


1990

Retired, SUNY at Buffalo


1994

Died 26 Jan 1994 at Buffalo (in Niagara Lutheran Nursing Home)