JAMES HARTWAY (b 1944 )
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1944, James Hartway began a lifelong study of music with piano lessons at the age of seven. In middle school and throughout high school he pursued this avocation with diligence by forming his own jazz quartet, learning to play percussion, and amassing a substantial collection of both classical and jazz recordings. During college the “for fun” avocation turned into a serious vocation. Hartway earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in music from Michigan State University. His principal composition teachers have been H. Owen Reed and Ruth Shaw Wylie.
As a professional composer James Hartway has received sixty commissions from major musical organizations and educational institutions, and has composed 89 works. He has been asked to create pieces for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the American Artist Series, the Meadow Brook Music Festival, the American Guild of Organists, the Michigan Opera Theater, the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit for the Papal visit of John Paul II to the United States, the Scarab Club, Printemps Musicale des Alizés of Morocco, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Verdher Trio, the Woodland Trio, and various other chamber music groups and soloists, and he has served as composer-in-residence for the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East in Bennington, Vermont.
Hartway’s original compositions have been recorded, choreographed, and performed throughout the United States and in Canada, South America, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, China, and Africa. Lukas Foss, Sixten Ehrling, Kenneth Jean, Michael Krajewski, David Daniels, Kypros Markou and many others have conducted his symphonic works.
In 1982 he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in music for his concerto for jazz quartet and orchestra Cityscapes. He is the proud recipient of an Arts Foundation of Michigan Award and has received a Resolution of Tribute from the Michigan Senate. He has been an annual winner of the ASCAP Standard Panel Award for his compositions since 1978, and has been named the ‘Detroit Music Awards Outstanding Classical Composer’ three times. His ‘Affair of the Harp’ CD was the Detroit Music Awards Outstanding Classical Recording for 2005.
James Hartway is currently a Distinguished Professor of Music at Wayne State University and is the Director of its Division of Music Composition and Theory.