BERNARD RANDS (b 1934 )
The music of Bernard Rands has firmly established him as a major figure among his generation of composers. His oeuvre of more than one hundred works written in a wide range of genres possess an originality and distinctiveness that has been described as teeming with “plangent lyricism” and “musicality and clarity of idea allied to a sophisticated and elegant technical master.”
Rands was born and raised in Sheffield, England, and studied music and English literature at the University of Wales, Bangor. His early studies in composition were with Pierre Boulez and Bruno Maderna in Darmstadt, Germany, and with Luigi Dallapiccola and Luciano Berio in Milan, Italy. Rands held residencies at Princeton University, the University of Illinois, and York University before emigrating to the United States in 1975 and becoming a US citizen in 1983. He has since taught at the University of California, San Diego, The Juilliard School, Yale University, Boston University and Harvard University. Rands’ many significant commissions include orchestral works for Suntory Hall in Tokyo; for the New York Philharmonic’s one hundredth anniversary, the centenary of Carnegie Hall; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he served as composer-in-residence from 1989 to 1995. He has also served in that role for both the Aspen Festival and Tanglewood Music Center. His chamber opera, Belladonna, was commissioned by the Aspen Music Festival for its fiftieth anniversary in 1999. Among Rands’ many awards and honors is the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for his Canti del sole for tenor and orchestra, and the recording of his Canti d’amor by the men’s vocal ensemble Chanticleer won a GRAMMY® Award in 2000. In 2004, Rands was elected and inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters.