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:
DAVID RAKOWSKI, COMPOSER
David Rakowski was born and raised in St. Albans, Vermont, where he played trombone in high school and community bands, and keyboards in a mediocre rock band called the Silver Finger. Early musical challenges included taking pop songs off the radio for his band to play. He was his high school class’s valedictorian and its best Thespian.
He received his musical training at New England Conservatory, Princeton, and Tanglewood, where he studied with Robert Ceely, John Heiss, Milton Babbitt, Paul Lansky, Peter Westergaard, and Luciano Berio. He spent the four years after graduate school not writing his dissertation, holding down dismal part-time word processing jobs, and helping to run the Griffin Music Ensemble in Boston. At the end of those four years, he took a running leap into academia with a one-year appointment at Stanford University. Seven years later, he finished his dissertation.
Rakowski’s most widely-traveled music is his collection of one hundred highly varied and high-energy piano etudes; these pieces approach the idea of etude from many different angles, be they technical, conceptual, compositional, or stylistic; many of them may be viewed on YouTube. He is now at work on a set of piano preludes and has finished one book of ten. He has also written three symphonies, seven concertos, three large wind ensemble pieces, a sizable collection of chamber and vocal music, as well as incidental music and music for children.
Rakowski’s awards include the Rome Prize, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2006 Barlow Prize, and the 2004-6 Elise L. Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Tanglewood Music Center, BMI, Columbia University, the Orleans International Piano Competition (the Chevillion-Bonnaud composition prize), the International Horn Society, and various artist colonies. He has been commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the U.S. Marine Band, Sequitur, Network for New Music, Koussevitzky Music Foundation (with Ensemble 21 in 1996 and with Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2006), Collage New Music, the Kaufman Center/Merkin Hall, Boston Musica Viva, the Fromm Foundation (twice), Dinosaur Annex, the Crosstown Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, the Riverside Symphony, Parnassus, The Composers Ensemble, Alea II, Alea III, Triple Helix, and others. In 1999 his Persistent Memory, commissioned by Orpheus, was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and in 2002 his Ten of a Kind, commissioned by “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, was also a Pulitzer finalist. He has been composer-in-residence at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Guest Composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference, and a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. His music is published by C.F. Peters, is recorded on New World/CRI, Innova, Americus, Albany, Capstone, and Bridge, and has been performed worldwide.
After his year at Stanford, he taught at Columbia University for six years, and then skipped town to join the faculty of Brandeis University, where he is now the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition. While at Brandeis, he has also taken part-time appointments teaching at Harvard University (twice) and New England Conservatory (also twice). Now a failed trombonist, he lives in Boston exurbia and in Maine with his wife Beth Wiemann and exactly two cats named Sunset and Camden.
STACY 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 with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. In Stacy’s works, this manifests itself in programmatic pieces without text (sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly) and more directly in pieces that draw upon poets and writers for source material.
Dr. Garrop has received numerous awards and grants including the 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, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s First Hearing Composition Competition, Omaha Symphony Guild’s International New Music Competition, San Francisco Song Festival’s Phyllis C. Wattis Prize for Song Competition, and the New England Philharmonic’s Call for Scores Competition. She has participated in reading session programs given by the American Composers Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra (the Composers Institute), and the Dale Warland Singers.
Theodore Presser Company publishes her chamber and orchestral works. Cedille Records, Innova, Equillibrium, Chicago a cappella Records, and Ravello Records have recorded her music on twelve CDs. Of particular note, Cedille Records released in February 2011 the first all-Garrop CD that includes String Quartet No. 3: GAIA, Silver Dagger, and In Eleanor’s Words.
Dr. Garrop was in residence with the Skaneateles Festival and the Volti Choral Institute for High School Singers in 2011, Albany Symphony Orchestra in 2009/10, and Chicago’s Music in the Loft chamber music series in 2004/05 and 2006/07. She has attended residences at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Oxford Summer Institute, Ragdale Colony, Round Top Music Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference, and Yaddo Colony.
Her orchestra works have been performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Erato Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Youth Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Women’s Philharmonic; her string quartets by the Cecilia, Chiara, Biava, Enso, and Artaria String Quartets; her chamber ensemble works by the Ambassador Duo, Anaphora Ensemble, Callisto Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, EARPLAY, Empyrean Ensemble, Helikon Ensemble, Indiana University’s New Music Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Lincoln Trio, New EAR, Orion Ensemble, Pilgrim Chamber Players, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Seattle New Music Ensemble, Society for New Music, Third Angle, mezzo-sopranos Buffy Baggott and Julia Bentley, and pianists Amy Briggs, Winston Choi, and Kuang-Hao Huang; and her choir works by Chicago A Cappella, C4, Grant Park Chorus, musica intima, Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Princeton Singers, Santa Cruz Chamber Singers, University of Michigan Chamber Choir, and Volti. Her works have been choreographed by the a-ha! Dance Theatre of Kansas City, and she has worked with numerous conductors including Martín Benvenuto, Christopher Bell, Jerry Blackstone, Cliff Colnot, Karen Lynne Deal, Robert Geary, Apo Hsu, Paul Hostetter, Carlos Kalmar, Jonathan McPhee, David Alan Miller, Peter Oundjian, Donald Portnoy, Jeffrey Renshaw, Steven Sametz, James Setapen, Stephen Squires, and Victor Yampolsky.
She is Head of Composition and Associate Professor of Composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.