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Gerard Schurmann

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Gerard Schurmann

Biography

Gerard Schurmann (19 January 1924, Java, Indonesia – 24 March 2020, Hollywood Hills, Calif.) was a Dutch-born British pianist, composer and conductor.

He left his home at an early age and grew up in England. During World War II, he served in the Royal Air Force.

At the age of 21, Schurmann began to combine his concert career as a pianist with the position of acting cultural attaché at the Netherlands Embassy in London. This continued for several years until Eduard van Beinum, the conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, helped him attain the position of resident orchestral conductor at the Dutch Radio in Hilversum. At the end of his contract there, he returned to England determined to devote his life mainly to composition, henceforth limiting his conducting activities to guest appearances.

In 1980, he was invited by the U.S. State Department to tour orchestras and universities in the United States, a five-month visit also partly sponsored by the British Council. In 1981, Schurmann moved to the U.S., where he settled in the Hollywood Hills, California. He composed music for many film soundtracks, and was also the orchestrator for the film Lawrence of Arabia. He continued to receive commissions for concert works and was at one time associated with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra through the conductor Lorin Maazel who introduced his music, first with the Cleveland Orchestra and subsequently in Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

Schurmann lived in the United States from 1981 until his death in 2020.


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