Interview Date: July 8 and 10, 2013
Conservatory Affiliation: Composition Faculty
Interviewer: Emily Laurance, Chair, Music History and Literature

Elinor Armer was born in Oakland, California, and was raised in Davis. Her father was an engineer, her mother an author. Elinor began playing the piano at the age of eight. Among her teachers were Olive Shipstead, Darius Milhaud, Alexander Libermann, Roger Nixon and Leon Kirchner. Elinor joined the Conservatory's faculty in 1969, teaching piano for the Preparatory Department. In the 1980s she joined the collegiate faculty and established the Conservatory's Composition Department.

In this interview, Elinor describes her family, education, musical inspirations and career. She shares memories of former friends and colleagues, including Laurette Goldberg, Milton Salkind and May Kurka, and reflects on her career as a composer. We thank Elinor for her memories, as well as the time and interest she has generously given to this project.

Transcript PDF

Transcript Topics

Early years (family, musical experiences)
Mills College
San Francisco State and UC Berkeley
Conservatory
Vivian Fine, women composers
J.B. Elkus & Son
Ursula Le Guin
Composing
Conservatory Composition Department
Advice to students
Looking back

Audio

Early years

Mills College

San Francisco State and UC Berkeley

Conservatory

Vivian Fine, women composers

J.B. Elkus & Son

Composers, Inc.

Composing

Conservatory Composition Department

Advice to students

Looking back

Oral history interviews are a method of collecting historical information from a narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. These interviews are primary materials, and by nature reflect the personal opinion of the narrators. As with any primary resource, these interviews are not to be viewed as the final and definitive source for any subject.

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