Missouri native Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927) was born into a musical family and had begun her early compositions at the age of 5. Throughout her elementary and high school years her performance studies continued and her interest in composition intensified, and she attended the Eastman School of Music and the Yale School of Music, receiving her bachelorís and masterís degrees in composition from the latter and her Ph.D. from the former. Diemerís education exposed her to some of classicalís great minds, placing her under the tutelage of Hindemith, Gant, Sessions, and many more.
In addition to her activity as a composer and performer, Diemer was a longtime educator across the United States. During her tenure at UCSB, she was instrumental in the founding of the electronic/computer music program, as well as the doctoral degrees in composition.
A proponent of Gebrauchsmusik and the provision of original works to non-professional performers, Diemer believes that composers should have the freedom to write imaginative and compelling music in a variety of genres not only for advanced musicians, but also for those in earlier stages of development.