Skip to main content

Memphis Composers

Memphis area composers, including current and former faculty, students, community members.


Mr. Burnet Tuthil was born in New York City. He attended the prestigious Horace Mann School, Columbia University, and the Cincinnati College of Music. He played clarinet in the Columbia University orchestra while in high school and later became its conductor.

In 1922 Tuthill became general manager of the Cincinnati Conservatory and entered its Master’s program in 1930. After receiving his degree, he became director of Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in Memphis as well as Director of Memphis Conservatory which eventually merged with Southwestern. In 1938 he founded the Memphis Symphony which he conducted until 1946. His students included the renowned exploratory musician Moondog.

Tuthill founded the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in 1924 and served as its secretary until 1959. He also founded the Society for the Publication of American Music (SPAM) in 1919, whose publications are still available from Theodore Presser Company.

Tuthill composed over 100 works for such ensembles as orchestra, chorus, and chamber music in addition to concertos for many instruments.

Tuthill's father, an architect and amateur cellist, designed Carnegie Hall.


Chips' fast piece; for clarinet and piano score

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra : reduction for clarinet and piano by the composer score

Concerto for double bass and wind orchestra score

Concerto, tenor saxophone & orchestra, op. 50 score

Concerto, for trombone and orchestra (or band), op. 54. score

Divertimento (in classic style) Op. 14, no. 2. for flute, oboe, B♭ clarinet and bassoon score

Duo for clarinet and bassoon, op.18, no.2. 1940 score

Fantasy sonata (in one movement) : solo for clarinet in B♭ with piano accompaniment : op. 3 score