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M. WILLIAM KARLINS was born in New York City on February 25, 1932. He earned his B.M. and M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1965. Among his principal teachers were Frederick Piket, Stefan Wolpe, and Vittorio Giannini. He was the Harry N. and Ruth F. Wyatt Professor of Music Theory and Composition Emeritus at Northwestern University, where he was on the faculty from 1967 until his death in 2005. Karlins has an extensive catalog ranging from large orchestral and chamber works to solo and choral pieces. His saxophone music in particular, which he often combines with other individual instruments and ensembles, is widely performed in the United States and abroad.

Karlins has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony, and many other ensembles and prominent soloists. Other organizations that have played his music include the Orquestra Sinfônica de Goiânia (Brazil), the Dallas, Albany, Nuremberg, Northwestern and Grant Park Symphony Orchestras, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, New Art Ensemble, Chicago Chamber Players, Quintet of the Americas, Chicago Wind Quintet, The Fine Arts, Gaudeamus, Boston Composers, Somogyi, Vermeer, Pacifica and Lydian String Quartets, New Music Chicago, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, RES Musica Baltimore, Composers Forum (NY), CUBE contemporary music group (Chicago), Rembrandt Chamber Players (Chicago), The Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, Society for New Music (NY), Musica Moderna (Lodz, Poland), Venice Biannale, the Vision, Wytko, Black Swamp and Vienna Saxophone Quartets, as well as performances on West German Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Co., WNYC (New York), WFMT, WNIB, WBEZ (Chicago), CBS Television and other radio and television stations, and outstanding soloists and ensembles throughout the world.

Karlins was a visiting composer at many universities in the USA and Canada. In 1991 he was composer-in-residence at the 6éme Stage de Saxophone, which took place during the 7éme Festival Lyrique et Musical de Duras, France, at which time he was honored as "de chevalier du Maréchalat des Cútes de Duras." He was also composer-in-residence at World Saxophone Congresses in London, Bordeaux, Nuremberg, and Washington, DC. In 1995 he was guest composer and lecturer at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, and the Franz Liszt Musical College in Györ, Hungary, and in 1997 he was featured composer in a concert presented by the American Cultural Center in Sofia, Bulgaria, co-sponsored by the Fulbright Commission. In 1999 he was lecturer at the Wiener Hochschule für Musik, and his music was performed at the Budapest Spring Festival. Karlins was honored composer and lecturer at the 3rd Music Research Seminar, in the Escola de Música e Artes Cênicas da Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil, in 2003.

Karlins' music has been recorded on CRI, Brewster, Advance, and Golden Crest Records, as well as Centaur, Hungaroton, Opus One, ACA Digital Audio, Music From Northwestern, Arizona University Recordings, Equilibrium, Soundwind, RIAX and Arktos compact discs. His music is published by many leading publishers in the USA and Europe.

He was a member of BMI and the American Music Center, the American Composers Alliance, where he served on the National Advisory Board and Board of Governors. He was a National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota.

For further information, please contact The Garlic Press, P.O.Box 491, Techny, IL 60082-0491. E-mail:

Photo of M. William Karlins
Music by M. William Karlins available from TRITONE PRESS:  
494-00062 BLUES for Saxophone Quartet (AATB) ...  36.99
494-02736 IMPROVISATIONS ON "LINES WHERE BEAUTY LINGERS"  for solo Bass Clarinet ... 8.95

494-02737 IMPROVISATIONS ON "LINES WHERE BEAUTY LINGERS"  for solo Saxophone ... 8.95

SEASONS for solo Saxophonist ... 8.95
REVISIONS provided by the composer in 2002

All prices subject to change.
last updated July 18, 2015