George James BURT
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BURT, George James October 7, 1929 - March 28, 2015 George James Burt passed away on March 28th in Sonoma at the age of 85. An accomplished composer, George wrote over 40 musical works (orchestral, chamber and electronic), as well as scores for six feature-length films. Born in San Francisco and raised in Sausalito, he attended The San Francisco Conservatory and went on to receive degrees from UC Berkeley, Mills College and finished graduate studies at Princeton. During these years Burt studied with Roger Sessions at Princeton, and with Gyorgy Ligeti for a year in Vienna while on an Alfred Hertz Memorial Grant. His music has been performed by the Detroit and Houston Symphony orchestras, the Paris Opera Orchestra as well as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony Orchestra and by chamber ensembles in many colleges and universities. He wrote the acclaimed book, "The Art of Film Music", which has become a standard text used in university film departments throughout the country. Film scores include Fool for Love and Secret Honor, both directed by Robert Altman. George was a Professor of Music at Smith College, The University of Michigan and Rice University, where he was named Professor Emeritus. George is survived by his loving wife, Sharon Graham Burt; sons, Eric and Wylie Burt; stepchildren, Patrick, Missy, Kathy, and Kelly; and nine grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the California State Summer School for the Arts: Music Scholarships at 39 E. Walnut, Pasadena CA 91103 or Memorial Celebration will be held April 18, 2015.

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Published in Sonoma Index-Tribune from Apr. 14 to Apr. 15, 2015.
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3 entries
October 30, 2015
As a former student of George's at Rice University - I took his film class, and a semester of composition with him. His screening of Robert Altman's SECRET HONOR was an introduction to him as a composer. He had considerable talents and gifts. I wish I'd had more time to spend/study with him, but I worked full time and went to school. I genuine good guy.
R.C. McCauley
April 22, 2015
Thanks Sharon. What a guy. Wish I had known him. Hope to see you back at choir eventually.
April 18, 2015
Sharon, what a shock! I have always had George's name on my never die list. Alas! My heart goes out to you. George was also on my short list of special friends. On several occasions we had hours of interesting shop talk. And finally going through my mind as I write this is hearing his engaging laugh, seeing his warm smile, and feeling his friendly personality.

I will really miss him.


Herb Bielawa
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