composition faculty


Give musicians a piece of music, and they’ll play for a few hours (assuming the parts are printed correctly and the cellist decides to show up). Teach people to write music, and they’ll play for generations to come.   Check out the composition faculty who will team up with you at fresh inc:


stacy garrop-1004STACY GARROP, COMPOSER  Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on direct and dramatic narrative.  The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share the experiences and concepts that we find compelling with others. In Garrop’s works, this manifests in programmatic pieces without text (sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly) and more directly in pieces that draw upon poets and writers for source material.

Garrop has received numerous awards and grants including a Fromm Music Foundation Grant, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s Harvey Gaul Composition Competition, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, two Barlow Endowment commissions, and competitions sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and American Composers Orchestra.   She has been commissioned by numerous ensembles and organizations including the Albany Symphony, Chanticleer, Chicago Classical Recording Foundation, Music in the Loft, Norton Building concert series, and Capitol Saxophone Quartet.  Garrop recently received a commission from the San Francisco Choral Society and Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir to write an oratorio that will premiere in 2014.

Garrop’s works are available through Theodore Presser Company, which publishes her chamber and orchestral pieces, and Inkjar Publishing Company, which publishes her choir music.  Her music has been commercially recorded on fourteen CDs by Cedille Records, Innova, Equillibrium, Chicago a cappella Records, Ravello Records, and Summit Records.  ­­­Her upcoming Cedille projects include a recording with the Avalon Quartet, who will record her String Quartet No. 4: Illuminations in 2014, and the Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra, who will record her orchestral works in 2014-2015.  Garrop has been active in artist programs at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, Round Top Music Festival, and Wellesley Composers Conference; she has also attended several artist colonies over the years, including MacDowell, Millay, Ragdale, and Yaddo.

Garrop has written several pieces for orchestra which have been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra; Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra; Detroit, Albany, Amarillo, Charleston, Illinois, Nashua, Omaha, and Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestras; National Repertory Orchestra; Civic Orchestra of Chicago; and the New England Philharmonic.  An avid fan of choral music, Garrop spends time each year adding to the genre.  She has worked with Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella, Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, Princeton Singers, Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Voices of Ascension, Volti, University of Michigan Chamber Choir, and the Wicker Park Choral Singers; her works have received additional performances by musica intima, Sacred & Profane, Santa Cruz Chamber Singers, Virginia Chorale, and the Louisiana ACDA Collegiate Honor Choir.  Her keen interest in setting poetry also materializes in vocal music; she has set a large number of American poets and writers, including a song cycle for mezzo-soprano based on the “My Day” newspaper columns of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Within the realm of chamber music, Garrop is particularly fond of writing for string quartets; Avalon, Biava, Cecilia, Chiara, Enso, and Artaria Quartets have all performed her work.  She has added several works to the saxophone genre, working with specialists in the field including Timothy McAllister and the Capitol Saxophone Quartet.  Garrop also has a longstanding relationship with the Lincoln Trio, for whom she has written three piano trios as well as a work for mezzo-soprano and piano trio on the texts of Billy Collins.  Her chamber works have also received performances by the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Fifth House Ensemble, Gaudete Brass Quintet, Indiana University’s New Music Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New EAR, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Seattle New Music Ensemble, Society for New Music, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and Voices of Change.

As an educator, Garrop has created innovative programs to bring music to young people.  For a residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, she helped middle school students compose a semi-staged music production about the explorer Henry Hudson.  In collaboration with the Skeaneateles Festival, she designed a series of workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students in which the students learned and created musical works using Hyperscore, a computer program that allows people to write music without having to read music.

Garrop earned degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Indiana University-Bloomington (D.M.). She is an Associate Professor at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

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dan visconti-1006

DAN VISCONTI, COMPOSER  Dan Visconti composes concert music infused with the directness of expression and maverick spirit of the American vernacular. His compositions often explore the rough timbres, propulsive rhythms, and improvisational energy characteristic of jazz, bluegrass, and rock—elements that tend to collide in unexpected ways with Visconti’s experience as a classically-trained violinist, resulting in a growing body of music the Plain Dealer describes as “both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and a powerfully crafted lyricism.”

Recent concert seasons have showcased several Visconti premieres, including a work commissioned by the Jupiter Quartet for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s international string quartet series; a work featuring experimental video commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra for premiere at Zankel Hall; an extended work for cellist Joshua Roman and pianist Helen Huang commissioned by Town Hall Seattle; and a work for soprano Lucy Shelton and the Da Capo Chamber Players for premiere at Weill Recital Hall. Other commissions have come from the Kronos Quartet, the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Gryphon and Triple Helix piano trios, the Corigliano Quartet, the Janaki String Trio, Volti, and Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble.

Visconti’s music continues to receive performances by some of the top interpreters of contemporary music, including eighth blackbird, the 21st Century Consort at the Smithsonian, Sybarite5, the Locrian Chamber Players, and the Aeolus, Eclipse, Kontras, Jasper, and Carpe Diem string quartets, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, London’s Barbican Theatre, and the Sydney Opera House. In recent seasons the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Spokane Symphony, and the South Carolina Philharmonic have also given his orchestral works repeated hearings. Recordings of Visconti’s music are available from Bridge Records, Naxos, and Fleur de Son Classics.

His compositions have been honored with the Rome Prize and Berlin Prize fellowships, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts, the Barlow Prize, and the Cleveland Arts Prize; awards from BMI and ASCAP, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Society of Composers, and the Naumburg Foundation; and grants from the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Chamber Music America. He has also been the recipient of artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Copland House, the Lucas Artists Program at Villa Montalvo, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Visconti recently completed a multi-year residency with opera companies including Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre St. Louis, New York City Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, and the Metropolitan Opera as recipient of the Douglas Moore Fellowship in American Opera. In 2013 he will serve as composer-in-residence at the soundSCAPE festival in the Italian Alps, where he will lead composers and performers in the creation of new works and compose a new work for soprano Tony Arnold and the festival ensemble. Beginning in the 2013/14 season, he will serve as composer-in-residence of Chicago’s Music in the Loft series.

Visconti studied composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music, primarily with Margaret Brouwer, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, and Zhou Long. As an educator his commitment to engaging new audiences often involves unconventional venues and approaches; past projects have included interactive videoconferencing presentations on the social history of music and civil rights in America as well as appearances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Visconti’s music was recently performed in Pakistan at concerts presented by Cultures in Harmony, an outreach organization promoting cross-cultural communication through music.

Visconti’s online journal (hosted by Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts) detailed the compositional process in a multimedia experience, sharing images and streaming audio of works-in-progress including a new work commissioned through the Kronos Quartet’s Under 30 Project. Since 2008 he has written a weekly column for NewMusicBox, the web magazine of the American Music Center. His articles have also appeared in ArtsJournal and Symphony Magazine.

Visconti is a member of BMI and currently serves as Artistic Director of the VERGE ensemble, Washington, DC’s longest-standing presenter of contemporary music.

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