Robert Starer

From Wind Repertory Project
Robert Starer


Robert Starer (8 January 1924, Vienna, Austria – 22 April 2001, Kingston, N.Y.) was an Austrian-born American composer.

Robert Starer began studying the piano at age 4 and continued his studies at the Vienna State Academy. After the 1938 plebiscite in which Austria voted for annexation by Nazi Germany, Starer left for Palestine and studied at the Jerusalem Conservatory with Josef Tal. In World War II he served in the British Royal Air Force. And in 1947 he settled in the United States. He studied composition at the Juilliard School in New York, studied with Aaron Copland in 1948 and received a postgraduate degree from Juilliard in 1949. Starer became an American citizen in 1957.

Robert Starer taught at the Juilliard School, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he became a distinguished professor in 1986.

Starer was prolific and composed in many genres. His music was characterized by chromaticism and driving rhythms. His vocal works, whether set to English or Hebrew texts, were particularly praised. He composed the score for Martha Graham's 1962 ballet Phaedra. He also wrote four operas, The Intruder (1956), Pantagleize (1967), The Last Lover (1975), and Apollonia (1979).

Among his honors are two Guggenheim Fellowships, election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1994, the Medal of Honor for Science and Art by the President of Austria in 1995, an Honorary Doctorate by the State University of New York in 1996, and a Presidential Citation by the National Federation of Music Clubs in 1997.

Works for Winds