One of the United States’ most venerable music publishing names, G. Schirmer grew out of the New York-based Kerksieg and Bruesing Company, founded in 1848. Gustav Schirmer, the son of a German immigrant, had managed Kerksieg and Bruesing since 1854 and, along with colleague Bernard Beer, he took it over in 1861.
Driven by the Schirmer family’s desire to boost appreciation of classical music in their adopted country (the site of the future Carnegie Hall was at the time still an apple orchard), Gustav bought out Beer’s interest in 1866 to establish G. Schirmer Music Publishers, Importers and Dealers.
By the start of the 20th century, G. Schirmer, Inc. was internationally renowned, not just for 18th and 19th century music but as a champion and publisher of contemporary works. In 1964 it acquired Associated Music Publishers (AMP), gaining a significant catalogue of American composers.
The company remained in the Schirmer family for just over a century before it was acquired by publishing giant Macmillan Inc. in 1968. The Music Sales Group then acquired both Schirmer and AMP from Macmillan in 1986 taking the imprint to new heights with the Hal Leonard Corporation acting as sole print distributor.
Today the Schirmer and AMP catalogues are impressive in both scope and scale ranging from elder statesmen (Riley, Husa, Previn and Schuller) to prestigious contemporary composers (Adams, Corigliano, Harbison, Kernis, Sheng, Tan Dun, Thomas and Tower). The catalogue also includes operas by Adamo, Catán and Menotti and the music of Barber, Carter, Cowell, Ellington, Gould, Ives, Kirchner, Lieberson, Piston, Schoenberg, Schuman and Thomson.