JOSEPH SCHWANTNER (b 1943 )
Known for his dramatic and unique style and known as a gifted orchestral colorist, Joseph Schwantner is one of the most prominent American composers today. He received his musical and academic training at the Chicago Conservatory and Northwestern University and has served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music and the Yale School of Music. Schwantner’s compositional career has been marked by many awards, grants and fellowships, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his orchestral composition Aftertones of Infinity and several GRAMMY® nominations. Among his many commissions is his Percussion Concerto, which was commissioned for the 150th anniversary season of the New York Philharmonic and is one of the most performed concert works of the past decade. Schwantner is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In January 2007, the League of American Orchestras and Meet The Composer announced that Schwantner had been selected as the composer for the second cycle of the nation’s largest commissioning consortium of orchestras: Ford Made in America. Schwantner’s Chasing Light… received its world première with the Reno Chamber Orchestra in September 2008 and has been performed over sixty times by orchestras in all fifty states.
Other recent commissions include works for the 75th anniversary of the National Symphony Orchestra; eighth blackbird; Flute Force; a work for flute and piano to honor flutist Sam Baron’s memory; and a Concerto for Percussion Section, Timpani and Orchestra for the Percussive Arts Society 50th anniversary and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Schwantner’s music is published exclusively by Schott Helicon Music Corporation and recorded on the Naxos, RCA Red Seal/BMG, Hyperion, Koch International Classics, EMI/Virgin, Sony, Delos, New World Records, Klavier and Innova labels.