G. Schirmer, Inc. has has acquired the worldwide publishing rights to composer Julius Eastman’s catalogue, including works such as Femenine (1974), Stay on it (1973), and the controversial Nigger Series (1978-9).

Eastman’s work as composer, performer and pianist is defined by pride in his race and sexuality, and his fusion of minimalism and improvisation. He fell from the public eye during the final years of his life, plagued by mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness, and died aged 49 in 1990.

Portions of his catalogue have since been collected by composer Mary Jane Leach, whose archival work precipitated the album Unjust Malaise (2005) and book Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music (2015). These led to a growing awareness of and respect for Eastman and his music, which has increasingly been heard in performances and on commercial releases.

Robert Thompson, president of G. Schirmer, Inc., said: ‘Publishing Julius Eastman’s catalog represents an opportunity to correct both a social and musicological wrong. The canon of American contemporary music cannot be considered complete without inclusion of Eastman’s compositions, which until recently have gone largely neglected and unpublished. Now that Julius Eastman’s work has found a home at G. Schirmer, we are eager to facilitate the continued international discovery of this American master.’

‘Julius’ music profoundly affected both composition and performance since he first came on the scene in the mid-20th century,’ wrote Gerry Eastman, brother of Julius. ‘No one contributed so much to the ever-expanding breadth of musical composition emanating out of the seeds of minimalism which he alone planted. That such a renowned music publisher as G. Schirmer is dedicated to nurture and disseminate my brother’s music is a tremendous honor for him and our entire family and a gift to the public in general.’