Emma Lou Diemer
Emma Lou Diemer was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
She began to play and compose piano music as a
young child, and became the organist in her church
at age 13. As an adult, she majored in composition
at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music.
She spent a year studying composition and piano
in Brussels on a Fulbright Scholarship and also
studied composition at Tanglewood. After receiving
her doctorate from Eastman, she wrote music for
the Arlington, Virginia schools under a Ford Foundation
Young Composer's grant and joined the faculty
of the University of Maryland.
In 1971, Diemer moved to Santa Barbara, CA, where
she was a professor at the University of California.
She was composer-in-residence with the Santa Barbara
Symphony from 1990-92.
The symphony has performed five of her works
including a marimba concerto, a piano concerto
(which won a Kennedy Center Friedheim award),
two overtures, and a recent short work on Chumash
Indian themes for the 2004 Young People's Concerts.
Diemer has written for many mediums: solo instruments,
solo voice, chamber, instrumental and choral ensembles,
orchestra, band, and electronics. Her music, much
of it commissioned, has been published since 1957.
Some of her piano music has been recorded, including
the piano concerto and chamber music that includes
Diemer likes to write music of varying levels
of difficulty and no matter whether the music
is easy or difficult, she intends for it to be
communicative and thought provoking, as well as
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