Edward Ernest Sauter (December 2, 1914 – April 21, 1981) was a composer and arranger during the swing era.

Sauter studied music at Columbia University and the Juilliard School. He began as a drummer and then played trumpet professionally, most notably with Red Norvo’s orchestra. Eventually he became a full-time arranger for Norvo. He went on to arrange and compose for Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, and especially Benny Goodman, earning a reputation for intricate work such as “Benny Rides Again,” “Moonlight on the Ganges,” and “Clarinet a la King”.

From 1952 to 1958 Sauter was co-leader of the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra. Between 1957 and 1959 he was Kurt Edelhagen’s successor as leader of the SWF orchestra in Baden-Baden, Germany. In 1961, he worked with tenor saxophonist Stan Getz on Focus, a collaboration for which Sauter at Getz’s commission wrote a suite of string compositions without primary melodies. This allowed Getz to improvise them in his customary style. Roy Haynes, the jazz drummer, appeared on “I’m Late, I’m Late”, the only selection to use a non-string instrument other than Getz.

Sauter and Getz collaborated again during Sauter’s work composing the score for the 1965 film Mickey One, which starred Warren Beatty. His television composing includes the third season theme to Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. In 2003 he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Although Sauter is best known for jazz, he also orchestrated Broadway musicals such as 1776, The Apple Tree, and It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman. His composition “World Without Time” is used as the theme music for the public affairs show The Open Mind, which was hosted by Richard Heffner.

Sauter died of a heart attack in Nyack, New York, on April 21, 1981.