Biography: Toby Lurie

1937Began studying voice with intention of pursuing a career in opera.
1943-46U. S. Navy
1946Los Angeles School of Opera. Shifted his focus to composition.
1947-49Studied composition at S.F. Conservatory of Music, U. C. Berkeley and University of Washington
1953Moved with wife and son to Oakland, Ca. where he studied composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills College.
1954-65Moved to Santa Barbara, Ca. entered Hotel business and other ventures
1965Left the Real Estate business and began writing poetry on his 40th birthday
1967-031967-03 During this period Lurie read his poetry and conducted workshops for teachers and students at over 1,500 schools, from Kindergarten through University levels at venues in United States, Great Britain and Europe.
1983On April 20, Lurie sketched his first work of art, copying a page from his 1st Symphony. The next day he framed six of his sketches and was on his way to a new career. In November of that year he had his first Gallery showing at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

From his earliest beginnings as a painter he combined music and poetry with his paintings to create large visual scores. He called his approach SYNESTHESIA, which is the interfacing of the various art disciplines.
1991Lurie was the first American painter to have two galleries showing of his work simultaneously in Denmark, in Copenhagen and in Aarhus.
1993Lurie, again, had two simultaneous gallery showings of his paintings in Japan.

2003Moved with Carolyn to Fort Bragg, CA.
Continues painting and writing.
Formed the Lost Coast Word-Music Ensemble which presents his language experiments in Galleries, Museams and Art Centers, frequently returning to the Beat Museum where several of his large paintings of the Beat Generation are housed.

2008Presented his one-person show, The Me I was Born With, (an improvised journey) at the Helen Schoeni Theater in Mendocino.

2012World Premiere of his Symphony on the Holocaust in Chicago September 20th

Lurie continues archiving his music compositions and poetry on canvas. Also archives works for other musicians and poets. His central focus as a poet is to cross that fine line between music and the spoken word so that one becomes the other and the other becomes the one. In this service his poetry is composed from a variety of musical forms: Rondo, ostinato, fugue and crab-fugue, repetition and counterpoint. The fugue form permeates his language compositions. He calls his work, as a Poet/Musician and painter, Synesthesia, which is the interlacing of all the major art disciplines: Music, Poetry, Dance, Theater and Painting which is the mortar which binds everything together.

Toby Lurie has published 19 books of poetry and, among his larger language compositions, has composed 13 Symphonies for Spoken-Voice-Chorus, including his Symphony on the Holocaust a work for 80 voices, and a painting of that symphony, in addition to a painting of Beethoven's 9th Symphony which is 120 square feet.

While living in Fort Bragg from December 2003, Lurie has composed over 120 books of Poetry, yet to be published.