Zwilich, Ellen Taaffe
- K. Robert Schwarz
(b Miami, April 30, 1939). American composer and violinist. She studied with John Boda at Florida State University (BM 1960, MM 1962), then moved to New York to study the violin with Galamian. As a member of the American SO under Stokowski, she acquired invaluable training in performance and orchestration. Eventually, she enrolled at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Carter and Sessions and, in 1975, became the first woman to take the DMA in composition. Meanwhile, performances of her music began occurring with increasing frequency: Symposium for orchestra (1973) was conducted by Boulez, the String Quartet 1974 was played at the ISCM World Music Days in Boston and the Sonata in Three Movements (1973–4) was performed by her husband, the violinist Joseph Zwilich. Symphony no.1, first performed in 1982 by the American Composers Orchestra under Schuller, brought her international renown in ...