Gaburo, Kenneth (1926-1993) | University of Illinois Archives
Kenneth Gaburo (1929-1993) was born in Somerville New Jersey. In 1943, he began his studies in composition at the Eastman School of Music with Bernard Rodgers. In 1949, he received master's degrees in composition and piano performance from Eastman. Between 1954 and 1955 he studied at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Goffredo Petrassi. Soon after he began his doctoral studies with Burrill Phillips and Hubert Kessler at the University of Illinois where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts in 1962. While completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty of the composition department at the University between 1955 and 1968. In 1967 he was named an associate fellow of the University of Illinois Institute for Advanced Study and received several grants to research the confluence between musical composition and linguistics at both the University's of Illinois and California. In the summer of 1965, Gaburo established the New Music Choral Ensemble I, a summer workshop that performed contemporary music that explored pitch, duration, timbre, indeterminacy, extended vocal techniques, and the integration of the voice and electronic instruments. In 1968, Gaburo left the University of Illinois to accept a teaching position at the University of California at San Diego, here he established the New Music Choral Ensemble II. By 1970 he had established the New Music Choral Ensemble III in order to more fully explore musical linguistics and dance. In 1972, he established the New Music Choral Ensemble IV to explore mime and acting. In 1975, Gaburo resigned from the University of California at San Diego and began touring professionally. Shortly after this, Gaburo accepted a position at the University of Iowa where he worked until his death in 1993.
While maintaining an active career as a composer, Gaburo also acted as a music publisher founding the Lingua Press in 1975, which he managed until his death in 1993. After Gaburo died the company continued to publish music under the Lingua Press title until it was changed to Frog Peak Music by Gaburo's Business Partner Larry Polansky.
Gaburo was also an active conductor and promoter of new music conducting his four New Music Choral Ensembles as well as the European premiere performance of Harry Partch's The Bewitched in 1979.