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Ezra Sims was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 16, 1918, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 30, 2015. He is known mainly as a composer of microtonal music. He made his professional debut (with his earlier twelve-note music) on a Composers Forum program, in New York, in 1959. In 1960, he found himself compelled by his ear to begin writing microtonal music, which he has done almost exclusively since then aside from several years when he made tape music for dancers, musicians at the time being generally even more afraid of microtones than they are now. His music has been performed from Tokyo to Salzburg.
He has received various awards Guggenheim Fellowship, Koussevitzky commission, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, etc. He has lectured on his music in the US and abroad, most notably at the Hambürger Musikgespräch, 1994; the second Naturton Symposium in Heidelberg, 1992; and the 3rd and 4th Symposium, Mikrotöne und Ekmelische Musik, at the Hochschle für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mozarteum, Salzburg, in 1989 & 1991. In 1992-93, he was guest lecturer in the Richter Herf Institut für Musikalische Grundlagenforschung in the Mozarteum.
He has published articles on his technique in Computer Music Journal, Mikrotöne III, Mikrotöne IV, Perspectives of New Music, and Ex Tempore.
With Theodore Mook, he designed a font, for use with computer printing programs, for his set of accidentals sufficient for 72-note music that has been widely adopted in the field. (Micro, a font for microtones.).
He was co-founder -- with Rodney Lister and Scott Wheeler -- of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, of which he was President from 1977-1981, and on its Board of Directors from that time to 2003.
His music is published by Frog Peak Music and Diapason Press (Corpus Microtonale) and is available from New World Records on NWCRL 186, 223, 578, 643, 784, and 80709.