Gene Gutche

Gene Gutche , a Minnesota composer, born Romeo Maximilian Eugene Ludwig Gutsche in Berlin, in 1907, is known for his cacophonous and forceful music. His interest in piano attracted Ferruccio Busoni who became his teacher, despite his parents’ objection to his musical interest. He also took linguistics, philosophy and business at the Universities of Lausanne, Heidelberg and Padua. At age eighteen (1925), he left Germany for the U.S.A. and finally settled in Minnesota. At the University of Minnesota, he studied music with Donald Ferguson, earning a masters in music in 1950, continuing at the University of Iowa, where he received his doctorate in composition in 1953. Gutche received various awards for his compositions. In 1958, he received the Minnesota State Centennial Prize for his Third String Quartet , followed by the Luria Award for Holofernes overture in 1959. In 1961, he was awarded the Albuquerque National Composition Prize for his Fourth Symphony and the Louise Moreau Gottschalk Gold Medal for Piano Concerto Op. 24. His work was commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the National Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Minnesota and several others. His magnus opus, Akhenaten was premiered by Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony in 1983. Icarus Opus 48 , (a four-movement suite ), The Sea , Insurrection , Isthmus , Genghis , Bongo Divertimento are just some of his many compositions. Guche’s symphonies, piano sonatas, concerti, and string quartets were recognized nationally and internationally. He died in November 2000 at White Bear Lake, Minnesota.