Get Ernst Oster essential facts below. View Videos or join the Ernst Oster discussion. Add Ernst Oster to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Ernst Oster (January 26, 1908 -- June 30, 1977) was a pianist, musicologist, and music theorist. A specialist in the use of Schenkerian Analysis, he was the English translator of Heinrich Schenker's final work, Free Composition.
...despite his formidable intellectual gifts and immense factual knowledge, he was convinced that musical analysis must be more than an intellectual activity, that the anaylist--like the performer--must attempt an artistic recreation of the work."
While in his 20s, Oster moved to Berlin to study with Schenker's student, Oswald Jonas. After Schenker's death in 1935, Oster moved to Vienna, where he contributed to Der Dreiklang, the short-lived periodical founded by students of Schenker, Felix Salzer and Oswald Jonas. Being Jewish, Oster emigrated to the United States after the Anschluss, but not before being entrusted with a major portion of Schenker's papers by Jeanette Schenker, Heinrich's widow. He arrived in New York City aboard the S.S. Veendam on January 14, 1939. He filed his petition for naturalization on January 29, 1945.
In the United States, Oster was active as a pianist and taught privately (Peter Serkin was one of his students), and had accompanying jobs. Later in life, he obtained teaching positions at the New England Conservatory of Music and in 1967, at the Mannes College of Music. His translation of Schenker's Free Composition, assisted by a grant from the Robert Owen Lehman Foundation, was completed in 1977.
An avid hiker, Oster died of a stroke while hiking on Schunemunk Mountain. He was survived by a sister, Therese, who was living in Switzerland at the time of his death.
^ abcdErnst Oster, 69, a Musicologist, Taught at Mannes Music College," New York Times (July 5, 1977), p. 36.
^Ernst Oster, "Preface to the English Edition," in Heinrich Schenker, Free Composition, translated and edited by Ernst Oster, New York: Longman (1979), p. xiv.
Allen Forte, Milton Babbitt, Charles Burkhart, Clemens Sandresky, Carl Schachter, Blanche W. Beck, Sydney Beck, David Beach, John Rothgeb and Edward Laufer, "Ernst Oster (1908-1977) In Memoriam," Journal of Music Theory 21, No. 2 (1977), pp. 340-354.