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Composer William Schuman dies


NEW YORK -- William Schuman, one of the most influential figures in American music in the past 50 years, died Saturday at 81.

Mr. Schuman won two Pulitzer Prizes for his compositions, including the first Pulitzer ever awarded for music. He also was the president of the Juilliard School of Music during its greatest period of growth after World War II; was president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts from its opening day in 1962 until 1969; and was instrumental in the creation of the Juilliard String Quartet, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Film Festival.

"Bill combined the talents of a creative artist and an extraordinary administrator and impresario," said Schuyler Chapin, a former general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. "He is absolutely stitched into the fabric" of New York's and the nation's cultural institutions, said Mr. Chapin.

Mr. Schuman, whom friends described as physically frail but otherwise in good health, fractured a hip last week and died after surgery Saturday in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, according to a family friend.

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