Elliott Schwartz (born 1936, New York City) studied composition with Otto Luening and Jack Beeson at Columbia University (AB 1957, MA '58, Ed.D '62). He also worked privately with Paul Creston. He is the Robert K. Beckwith Professor of Music at Bowdoin College, where he has taught since 1964, including twelve years as department chair; from 1988 to 1992 he also held a half-time Professorship of Composition at The Ohio State University School of Music.
Visiting appointments have included Trinity College of Music, London (1967), the University of California/Santa Barbara (College of Creative Studies, 1970, '73, '74), the University of California/San Diego (Center for Music Experiment, 1978-79), and Distinguished University Visiting Professorship at The Ohio State University (1985-86). He spent the fall 1993 and spring 1999 terms at Cambridge University (UK) as holder of a visiting Fellowship at Robinson College.
He has served as President of the College Music Society, National Chair of the American Society of University Composers (now renamed the Society of Composers, Inc.), Vice-President of the American Music Center, President of the Maine Composers Forum, and music panelist for the Maine Arts Council. He is presently a board member of the American Composers Alliance.
Elliott Schwartz is co-editor of the anthology Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music, co-author of Music Since 1945, and the author of Electronic Music: A Listener's Guide; The Symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams andMusic: Ways of Listening. He has also written essays and reviews for Perspectives of New Music, The Musical Quarterly, Musical America, Music and Musicians (England), Nordic Sounds (Denmark) and other publications.
His compositions are published by G.Schirmer-AMP, MMB-Norruth, Theodore Presser, Carl Fischer and ACA. A number of his works are on Folkways,Advance, Orion, Arista and Opus One long-play records. There are also compact disc recordings of his music on the New World, CRI, Innova, Vienna Modern Masters, O.O. Discs, Capstone, North-South Consonance (Albany), Metier andGM labels. Schwartz is a member of BMI.
Performances of his music include the Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, ALEA III (Boston), Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New York Chamber Soloists, Atlanta Virtuosi, Esbjerg Ensemble (Denmark), Lontano (UK), Spectrum (UK), Kreutzer Quartet (UK), Fibonnacci Sequence (UK), Tivoli Trio (Denmark), and Ensemble Allternance (France). Major festivals and new music series include the Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), "Music of the Americas" series (London), Berkshire Festival (Tanglewood), "Music in Our Time" (New York), De Ijsbreker (Amsterdam, Netherlands), the York and Bath Festivals (Britain), and European Music Week (UNESCO Centre, Paris). Honors and awards include a Dutch Gaudeamus Prize, two Rockefeller Foundation residencies at Bellagio, Italy, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an NEA Consortium commission, and a McKim Fund commission from the Library of Congress.
Schwartz's guest appearances include Oxford University, the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and Trinity College of Music (UK), the Royal Danish Academies at Aarhus and Copenhagen, Hochschule fur Musik (Cologne, Weimar, and Mannheim/Heidelberg), L?Ecole National du Musique (Saint Germain-en-Laye, France), Atelier Musique de Ville d?Avray (France), Institute for Advanced Musical Studies (Montreux, Switzerland), Tokyo College of Music, Rotterdam and Amsterdam Conservatories (Netherlands), New York University, University of Southern California/Schoenberg Institute, and the University of California (Berkeley, San Diego, Irvine and Santa Barbara campuses). He has presented four radio programs of American music for the British Broadcasting Corporation, and also been the subject of a 60-minute National Public Radio "Options" program. There have also been extended residencies as featured guest composer at Northwestern University, the University of Oregon, University of Louisville, Pennsylvania State University, University of Kansas Symposium, Cornell University Festival, Louisiana State University Festival, the University of New Mexico Festival, Memphis State University Festival, and the Washington State University Festival.
In recent years his appearances as visiting composer/lecturer have included London, Amsterdam, Kyoto and Los Angeles, residencies at Bennington College, the University of Arizona and the University of Montana, North-South Consonance Series (New York), Museum of Modern Art Summergarden series (New York), the Musikinstitut of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the Netherlands National Youth Orchestra, and the “Leningrad Spring” Festival (Russia). Recent premieres include De Ijskbreker (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Portland Symphony Orchestra, Alliance Francaise (New York), the University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Tivoli Trio of Denmark, the Donnell Library (New York), the International Double Reed festival (Rotterdam) the European Youth Orchestra Festival (Copenhagen), and the Pablo Casals Festival (France). Since 1999 his appearances include the Composers Concordance series (New York), Bar Harbor Music Festival, Longy School (Cambridge, MA), Butler University, Appalachia State University Festival, University of Miami Festival, Brooklyn and Queens Colleges of CUNY, Reykjavik Conservatory (Iceland), the Museum of Modern Art (Strasbourg, France). Visiting-Composer Residency at Oxford University (UK), 2004.
Schwartz's most recent compositions include a saxophone concerto for Kenneth Radnofsky and the New England Conservatory Orchestra (premiered October 2001), a concert band piece for the Harvard University Wind Ensemble (premiered December 2001), Water Music for string orchestra and recorded sounds, premiered at the London College of Music in May 2002, and the orchestral work Voyagerpremiered by the Portland Symphony Orchestra, October 2002. He is currently working on a sextet for clarinet, string quartet and piano, to be premiered in 2003 by the British performers Kate Romano and the Kreutzer Quartet, and a work for the German Trio PianOVo, By George, which will be featured in Halle at the 2004 "Handel MusikTage" festival.