Joseph Schwantner, known for his dramatic and unique style and as a gifted orchestral colorist, is one of the most prominent American composers today. He holds degrees from the Chicago Conservatory and Northwestern University and previously served on the Juilliard, Eastman and Yale faculties. Schwantner is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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 Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, commissioned for the 150th anniversary season of the New York Philharmonic, is one of the most performed concert works of the past several decades. Christopher Lamb, soloist in the recent Naxos recording of Schwantner’s music by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra received a 2012 Grammy Award for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” with Schwantner’s Percussion Concerto.
Schwantner’s music is published by Schott Helicon, Edition-Peters, Atherton Hill Press and recorded on a variety of labels including: Hyperion, BMG\RCA Red Label, Hyperion, Naxos, Innova, Koch International Classics, Boston Records, Albany Records, EMI/Virgin Records, New World Records, Klavier Records, Summit Records, Nonesuch, Mercury, CRI, GM Recordings, Delos, Laurel, Crest, DAD Records, Artworks Records, the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings and Sony Classical CD
Recent commissions include: Memories Embrace, for the 75th anniversary of the National Symphony Orchestra, Rhiannon’s Blackbirds, for eighth blackbird, Silver Halo, for Flute Force, Looking Back, for flute and piano to honor flutist, Sam Baron’s memory, Percussion Concerto #2, for Percussion Section, Timpani and Orchestra for the 50th anniversary of the Percussive Arts Society and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Taking Charge, for flute/piccolo, percussion and piano to celebrate Walfrid Kujala’s fifty years of teaching, Dream Drapery, for contralto and the Galax Baroque String Quartet, Chapel Music, five “diverse” songs for chorus and orchestra to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University, and Luminosity, “Concerto for Wind Orchestra” supported by a consortia of wind ensembles and the CBDNA.