William Edward Motzing

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1937 - 2014
William Motzing, an American-born composer, conductor and arranger who won an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award and earned five AFI Award nominations for his original film scores, died on January 30 in Manhasset, New York. He was 76.

Mr. Motzing died from effects of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare neurological disorder also known as Shy-Drager Syndrome.

Though born and educated in the United States, Mr. Motzing spent the bulk of his career in Australia, where he worked in the film, television and recording industries. He wrote the scores for more than a dozen feature films including "Newsfront" and "Young Einstein," for which he won an AFI Award for Best Original Music Score. He was also the composer, orchestrator or musical director for dozens of television programs. In addition to film scores and television themes, Mr. Motzing arranged and conducted for various popular music groups and artists including INXS, Leo Sayer and Peter Allen. Throughout the course of his career, he had the opportunity to conduct many of the finest orchestras in the US, Europe and Australia including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

Mr. Motzing was also a lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for nearly 40 years. He taught various subjects including music theory, arranging, modern jazz history, improvisation and ensembles.

William Edward Motzing Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 19, 1937. He studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he earned a bachelor's degree. He then moved to New York City where he earned a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 1960. Throughout the 1960s, Mr. Motzing played trombone in various orchestras-such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Radio City Music Hall orchestra-and with many prestigious jazz ensembles. From 1968 to 1971, he toured the world with the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, working as the band's sound designer. After visiting Australia while touring with the band, in 1972 Mr. Motzing moved to Sydney to take a position at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, now the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2012, Mr. Motzing retired from his position at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and moved to New York.

Mr. Motzing is survived by a daughter, Carrie; a son, William; and five grandchildren. His wife of 50 years, Bette, died in 2010 of uterine cancer.

Mr. Motzing practiced Transcendental Meditation twice daily since 1978 and was a fan of British culture, especially science fiction and comedy television.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to The MSA Coalition, 9935-D Rea Road, #212, Charlotte, NC 28277. For more information, please go online to www.multiple-system-atrophy.org/donate.
Published on NYTimes.com from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, 2014