ALFRED LOEFFLER founded Avera Music Press in 1996. He composed in most genres including keyboard, song, opera, choral, symphonic, and chamber. Major works include Sonata for Viola and Piano, Sonata for Piano (four hands), Missa Brevis, Communion Service for Paschal Time, Emily Dickinson Songs, Openings for Brass and Timpani, Symphony in A, The Rules of Courtly Love (a chamber cantata for soprano and nine instruments), Love's Labor's Lost (an opera in three acts), Octet for Winds, a string quartet, several sets of Appalachian melodies for chamber ensembles, and his Toccata series: one-movement works for a single instrument or a small ensemble.
Recent performances include Octet for Winds by the UC, Davis Woodwind Quintet (with three guest performers), Sonnets and Dance for Flute and Piano played by Jan Roberts and Sylvie Beaudette (for whom the work was written), and Toccata II: Toccatisorhymelicus for Organ and Percussion Ensemble featuring organist David Rothe, one of the work's dedicatees. Seven Appalachian Melodies for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet and Four Appalachian Melodies for Four Violins have also been widely played recently in California and Colorado. The Rules of Courtly Love (reduced version) was performed in Chico and Santa Rosa, California. In November of 2002 a retrospective concert of his music, Music of Six Decades, was presented at California State University, Chico. Included were Emily Dickinson Songs, the Sonata in G for Piano Four Hands, and premieres of Toccata IV: Toccata Toburra Canonica for Three Cellos and Toccata VIII for Percussion Ensemble and Electronic Sound.
Loeffler was educated at Yale University, where he studied theory and composition with Quincy Porter and Paul Hindemith and viola playing with Joseph Fuchs. He received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Minnesota studying theory and composition under Paul Fetler. He held teaching appointments at the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Riverside, Eastern Illinois University, and most recently at California State University, Chico, where he taught theory, composition, and viola playing, as well as courses in world musics and the history of jazz. He developed courses in African-American musics and the music of Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, and Stravinsky. He also directed graduate seminars in The Cantatas of Bach, The Music of Monteverdi and Schütz, and Wagner's Ring. He chaired the Department of Music from 1977 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1994. Chico State recognized him with two Professional Achievement Awards and with the Faculty Distinguished Service Award.
Loeffler was also an active violist and conductor. He served as principal violist of the New Haven, Riverside, and Redlands Bowl Symphony Orchestras and was the conductor of the Chico Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1994. He had a special interest in playing and fostering chamber music and served as director of the Chico Chamber Music Workshop and ChicoSac Chamber Music Workshop. The Workshop library is named in his honor. Alfred Loeffler died October 26, 2003. His music continues to be available from Avera Music Press, and additional publications of his works are planned.