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Biography
Named 2007 Composer of the Year by Musical America, and honored with multiple Grammy Awards for his ground-breaking setting of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Bolcom is a composer of cabaret songs, concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, and much more. He was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Twelve New Etudes for piano.As a pianist he has recorded for Advance, Jazzology, Musical Heritage, Nonesuch, Vox, and Omega. With his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, he has performed in concert for more than 35 years throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad.

In May 2010 there were two premieres of new works: Romanza by violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco and La fantome du Clavecin by harpsichordist Andreas Skouras in London.

2009 saw the premieres of First Symphony for Band in February by the University of Michigan Symphony Band in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Shakyamuni in February by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the reopening of Alice Tully Hall; and in May, Introduzione e Rondo: HAYDN GO SEEK by the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt in Eisenstadt, Austria and Lady Liberty by The Master Singers of Lexington [Mass.] and The Ann Arbor Vocal Arts Ensemble.

In February 2008 his Eighth Symphony was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus conducted by James Levine in Boston, MA and Carnegie Hall/New York. Within the same month the Guarneri and Johannes String Quartets premiered Bolcom's Octet: Double Quartet. Other 2008 premieres: Ballade in January 2008 by pianist Ursula Oppens; Lucrezia, a one-act comic opera for 5 singers and 2 pianists, in March 2008 by New York Festival of Song; Four Piedmont Choruses in May 2008 by the Piedmont Chamber Singers; A Song for St. Cecilia's Day in June 2008 at the University of Chicago.

In 2007 Bolcom was feted in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, with a two and a half-week festival of his music, including master classes, recitals, and concerts of his organ and chamber music. Titled Illuminating Bolcom, the festival was highlighted by two performances of Songs of Innocence and of Experience accompanied by animated projections of Blake's illuminations. The animations were commissioned by VocalEssence and created by projection designer Wendall K. Harrington.

In September 2006 Bolcom's Canciones de Lorca with tenor Placido Domingo, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and conductor Carl St. Clair, was premiered at the gala opening concert of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Orange Country Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA.

Bolcom taught composition at the University of Michigan from 1973-2008. Named a full professor in 1983, he was Chairman of the Composition Department from 1998 to 2003 and was named the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition in the fall of 1994. He retired from teaching in 2008.

In addition to their performances, Bolcom and Morris have recorded over two dozen albums together. Their first one, After the Ball, garnered a Grammy nomination for Joan Morris. Recent recordings include: two albums of songs by lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and Gus Kahn on Original Cast Records; Bolcom’s complete Cabaret Songs, written with lyricist Arnold Weinstein, on Centaur; and Someone Talked! Memories of World War Ii with tenor Robert White and narrator Hazen Schumacher, available now at www.equilibri.com.

WilliamBolcom.com
This biography was most recently edited by...
iecontent1 - 25 May 2011
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