Robert Schuneman, music publishing executive and former owner of E. C. Schirmer Music Publishing, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and Arlington, VA. He was trained musically in theory, composition, organ, piano, harpsichord, and vocal music. He also received extensive training, and had great interest and experience in, choral and instrumental conducting. He studied at State Conservatory of Music and University of Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany, Valparaiso University, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and Stanford University.
Schuneman’s career included working with narcotics addicts in Brooklyn; serving as a church musician, as a choral and orchestral conductor in Cambridge, MA; and teaching at Oberlin Conservatory, Boston Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, and Westminster Choir College. He also served as editor for “The Diapason” magazine for a number of years.
In 1985 he and his wife purchased E. C. Schirmer Music Company where he had worked as a part-time editor. He became President of the parent company ECS Publishing Company. As president of ECS, Schuneman oversaw the publications associated with E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Galaxy Music Corporation, Ione Press, and Highgate press. In 1995 he began Arsis Audio and went on to master and produce over two-hundred recordings. He also served as conductor of the Philovox Ensemble of Boston.
As a music executive and conductor, Schuneman traveled broadly, enjoyed time with his family, and making time for his great enthusiasm, watching and playing soccer. He was active in a large number of professional music organizations including the Music Publishing Association of the United States, and was particularly active in the work of the American Guild of Organists, The American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America. Schuneman believed strongly in building lasting relationships with composers and giving composers the room to express their artistic dreams. He was a mentor, guide, and inspiration to many in the music world.
Robert Schuneman died on December 4, 2015. He was 81.