George, Ronald

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Composer Name


Born: April 22, 1937

Died: 2006

Country: Escondido, California, U.S.A.

Studies: San Diego State College (B.M.Ed. 1961), Indiana University (M.M. 1966), University of California, San Diego (M.M. 1975)

Teachers: William Kraft, Michael Bookspan, Fred Begun

Ron George (1937-2006), a highly regarded percussionist, composer, instrument builder, and educator, was born in Escondido, CA,and died in Los Angeles. He studied composition with Robert Erickson and Pauline Oliveros, theory with Kenneth Gaburo, and percussion with George Gaberand earned degrees from Indiana University and the University of California,San Diego. He was also an ordained Zen Buddhist priest.

Untiringly creative, George designed and built many unique percussion instruments,including the Loops Console, the Super Vibe, and the modular Tambellan(pictured in the booklet), developed a variable microtonal tuning system, and created a notation system forboth traditional and his self-designed percussion instruments. As a composer-performer, George toured nationally and internationally. His professional performing affiliations were extensive: He was a member of symphony orchestras, including the San Diego and Milwaukee symphonies. He was co-founder and co-director of the Milwaukee Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble. A featured performer at numerous new music festivals and percussion conferences, many works were written specifically for George and his instruments by such composers as Robert Erickson, Dary John Mizelle, Netty Simons, Ben Johnston, and John Bergamo.

A deeply committed educator, George conducted workshops throughout the United States and taught at the California Institute of theArts, the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He also taught his interactive "Creative MusicProgram" to both youths and other educators through the Inner-City Arts organization in Los Angeles and worked in an interdisciplinary arts program at the Poseidon School for at-risk students. His joy in imagining, creating, and performing music was a great gift that he brought to his teaching, making a difference in the lives of countless children. A central figure in the American Composers Forum/LA., George founded the ACF/LA Education Committee and consulted on all of the ACF/LA's community programs involving children.[1]

Works for Percussion

Chamber Music II (George) - Percussion Duo; Double Bass (2)
Music for a Favorite Person - Vibraphone; Clarinet
Music for Clarinet and Vibraphone - Vibraphone; Clarinet
Music in Five Movements - Vibraphone; Clarinet
The Floating Bubble - Percussion Septet; Soloist - American Gamelan
Variations on a Butterfly - Multiple Percussion