Biographical Note

Prof. Robert C. Suderburg (1936-2013) was a reknowned composer, conductor, and pianist, devoted to the performance of 20th-century music. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Suderburg's compositions were published by Theodore Presser and performed nationally and internationally by major orchestras, ensembles, and solo artists, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle and North Carolina Symphonies, and the Philadelphia String Quartet. His works and performances were recorded by Columbia, Vox and Delfon, among others.

Suderburg taught music at Williams College beginning in 1985. He became composer-in-residence in 1986, and served as Chair of the Music Department from 1986 to 1995. He was appointed to a named Chair in 1994, and served as the program director of the National Young Composers Competition. At Williams, he also established the Group for 20th-century Music.

Prior to teaching at Williams, Suderburg conducted and taught at Bryn Mawr, the Philadelphia Musical Academy, the Univ. of Pennsylvania, and the City Univ. of New York. Suderburg also served as Co-director of the Contemporary Group at the University of Washington (1966-1974), Chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts (1974-1984), and President of the Cornish Institute in Seattle (1984-1985). He served on many boards and panels, including the NEA Composers Panel from 1975 to 1981.

He received fellowships, awards, and prizes including two Guggenheim Fellowships, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, numerous ASCAP awards, awards from the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Music Center, the USIA award, and others.

Suderburg's wife, Elizabeth, is a well-respected vocalist, and considered an exemplary performer of 20th-century vocal music. She has performed many of her husband's works, and they often gave joint performances.

Robert C. Suderburg Papers, 1951-2000


Biographical Chronology

Scope and Content

Appendix A. Compositions by Type

Appendix B. Photographs