Born 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts, Richard Wernick’s many awards include the 1977 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and three Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards (First Prizes in 1986 and 1991, Second Prize in 1992) — the only two-time First Prize recipient. He received the Alfred I. Dupont Award from the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in 2000, and has been honored by awards from the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2006, he received the Composer of the Year Award from the Classical Recording Foundation, resulting in the funding for an all-Wernick CD on the Bridge label (released in 2008 and shown below) featuring performances by David Starobin, William Purvis, the Juilliard String Quartet and the Colorado Quartet.
Mr. Wernick became renowned as a teacher during his tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1968 until his retirement in 1996, and was Magnin Professor of Humanities. He has composed numerous solo, chamber, and orchestral works, vocal, choral and band compositions, as well as a large body of music for theater, films, ballet and television. He has been commissioned by some of the world’s leading performers and ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Juilliard String Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet. From 1983 to 1989, he served as the Philadelphia Orchestra's Consultant for Contemporary Music, and from 1989 to 1993, served as Special Consultant to Music Director Riccardo Muti.
When I did a special program for his 60th birthday, I sent the composer a
note and a copy of the WNIB Program Guide which listed the event.
And, as I often did, I included a few music-related cartoons.
Soon thereafter I received this jovial reply . . . . .
To read my Interview with John Harbison,k click HERE.
To read my Interviews with Gunther Schuller, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Robert Starer, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Janos Starker, click HERE.
To read my Inrterview with Richard Wilson, click HERE.
To read my Interviews with Philip Glass, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Leo Ornstein, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Robert Helps, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Elliott Carter, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Stephen Albert, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Maurice Wright, click HERE.
To read my Interview with George Crumb, click HERE.
To read my Interview with David Gordon, click HERE.
This interview was recorded on the telephone on December 27,
1993. Portions were used (along with recordings) on WNIB in 1994
and 1999, and on WNUR in 2009. The
transcription was made and posted on this
website in 2009. More photos and links were added in December of
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award-winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.