Composer Biographies

Click any of the links below to access composer biographies. See also the Faculty Biographies page.

Senior Composer-in-ResidenceDonald Crockett

Guest Senior Composer-in-Residence (2019 Week 4)Pierre Jalbert

2019 Composers-in-ResidenceAllen Shawn, Scott Wheeler, Judith Shatin

Senior Composers-in-Residence


Los Angeles-based composer and conductor Donald Crockett has received commissions from a wide spectrum of organizations including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Composer-in-Residence, 1991–97), Kronos Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hilliard Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Xtet, the San Francisco-based chamber chorus, Volti, the California EAR Unit, the Guitar Foundation of America, and the University of Southern California for its 125th anniversary, among many others.

Recent projects include an all-Crockett orchestral disc released in May, 2015 by Boston Modern Orchestra Project on BMOP/sound, commissions from the Harvard Musical Association for violist Kate Vincent and Firebird Ensemble, the Claremont Trio, 21st Century Consort, a chamber opera, The Face, based on a novella in verse by poet David St. John, and a consortium commission from twenty-two college and university wind ensembles for his Dance Concerto for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Wind Ensemble.

The recipient in 2013 of an Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for outstanding artistic achievement, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, Donald Crockett has also received grants and prizes from the Barlow Endowment, Bogliasco Foundation, Copland Fund, Copland House, Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA and many others. His music is published by Keiser Classical and Doberman/Yppan and recorded on the Albany, BMOP Sound, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM, Innova, Laurel, New World, Orion and Pro Arte/Fanfare labels.

A frequent guest conductor with new music ensembles nationally, Donald Crockett has been very active over the years as a composer and conductor with the venerable and famed Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles. As conductor of the USC Thornton Symphony's annual New Music for Orchestra series, Donald Crockett has premiered over 125 new orchestral works by outstanding Thornton student composers. His recordings as a conductor can be found on the Albany, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM and New World labels.

Deeply committed to education, Donald Crockett is Professor and Chair of the Composition Program, Director of Thornton Edge new music ensemble and Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the USC Thornton School of Music, as well as Senior Composer-in-Residence with the Chamber Music Conference.


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Earning widespread notice for his richly colored and superbly crafted scores, Pierre Jalbert (b. 1967) has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and deeply personal. Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 2007 Stoeger Award, given biennially in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory, and a 2010 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Jalbert has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources, from plainchant melodies to natural phenomena. His music has been performed worldwide, with four Carnegie Hall performances of his orchestral music, including the Houston Symphony's Carnegie Hall premiere of his orchestral work, big sky, in 2006. Other major works for orchestra include In Aeternam (2000), performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonia Sacra (2001), written for the California Symphony; Les espaces infinis (2001), written for the Albany Symphony, Chamber Symphony(2004), commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Fire and Ice (2007), commissioned for the Oakland East Bay, Marin, and Santa Rosa Symphonies through Meet the Composer Foundation's Magnum Opus Project, Autumn Rhapsody (2008), commissioned by the Vermont Symphony, and Shades of Memory (2011) premiered by the Houston Symphony. Recent orchestral performances include those by the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under Marin Alsop. He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (2002-2005), California Symphony under Barry Jekowsky (1999-2002), and Music in the Loft in Chicago (2003). Select chamber music commissions and performances include those of the Emerson, Ying, Borromeo, Maia, Enso, Chiara, and Escher String Quartets.

Jalbert is Professor of Music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, and he serves on the Artistic Board of Musiqa, a Houston-based new music group. His music is published by Schott Music.


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Allen Shawn (born 1948) grew up in New York City.

He started composing music at the age of ten, and was encouraged by his piano teachers, Frances Dillon and Emilie Harris. His composition teachers included Leon Kirchner, Earl Kim, Nadia Boulanger and Jack Beeson.

For the past thirty years he has lived in Vermont and been on the music faculty of Bennington College.

Among his works are a dozen orchestral pieces, including a Symphony, two Piano Concertos, a Violin Concerto, a Cello Concerto (with a second one in progress), an Oboe Concerto, and a Double Concerto for Clarinet and Cello; five Piano Sonatas and many additional piano pieces, including several for piano four-hands and two pianos; much chamber music; vocal music; and three chamber operas. His recordings include numerous chamber music CDs; four volumes of piano music, including a recent CD devoted to his work by the German pianist, Julia Bartha; his Piano Concerto performed by Ursula Oppens with the Albany Symphony, conducted by David Alan Miller; and his chamber opera, The Music Teacher, to a libretto by his brother Wallace, on Bridge Records.

An active pianist, he is also the author of four books, Arnold Schoenberg's Journey (2002); Wish I Could Be There (2007); Twin (2011); and Leonard Bernstein–An American Musician (2014), as well as articles for the New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The Musical Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and the New York Times Magazine. He has been a recipient of both a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


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Scott Wheeler is an award-winning composer, conductor, pianist, and teacher with a multifaceted career. Although his chamber and orchestral music shows a wide range, it is his prominent profile as a composer of vocal and operatic music that defines his career and artistic personality. Wheeler’s most recent full-length opera is Naga, on a libretto of Cerise Jacobs, co-commissioned by White Snake Projects and Boston Lyric Opera. His latest operatic project is the 10-minute comedy Midsummer, based on a short play by Don Nigro, commissioned and premiered by Boston Opera Collaborative in October 2018. Other 2018-19 premieres include Dream Songs for Philosonia, Whispered Sarabande for violinist Mark Peskanov at Bargemusic, and “She Left for Good But Came Back” for the Bowers-Fader Duo, all premiering in New York.

Scott’s 2017 violin sonata The Singing Turk is part of the current recital repertoire of Gil Shaham and Akira Eguchi, whose performances between 2017 and 2019 take the work to Japan, California, Washington, Boston, St. Louis and elsewhere.

Scott's most recent CDs include Light Enough and Songs to Fill the Void, both featuring baritone Robert Barefield and both on Albany Records, and Portraits and Tributes, featuring pianist Donald Berman, on Bridge. Other Wheeler CDs include Crazy Weather, with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose, Wasting the Night – songs for voice and piano, and the opera The Construction of Boston, both available on Naxos; Shadow Bands features Scott's chamber music for strings and piano with the Gramercy Trio, recorded on Newport Classic.

Scott Wheeler divides his time between New York and Boston, where he is Senior Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College.


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Judith Shatin is a composer and sound artist whose musical practice engages our social, cultural, and physical environments. She draws on expanded instrumental palettes and a cornucopia of the sounding world, from machines in a coal mine, the shuttle of a wooden loom, a lawnmower racing up a lawn. Timbral exploration and dynamic narrative design are fundamental to her compositional design, while collaboration with musicians, artists and community groups are central to her musical life. Shatin's music has been commissioned by organizations including the Barlow Endowment, Fromm Foundations, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Kronos Quartet, and Atar Piano Trio. It has been featured at festivals including Aspen, BAM Next Wave, Grand Teton, Havana in Spring, Moscow Autumn, Seal Bay, Soundways (St. Petersburg), and West Cork, while orchestras that have presented her music include the Denver, Houston, Illinois, Knoxville, National, Minnesota, and Richmond Symphonies, as well as American Composers Orchestra. Shatin has held residencies at Bellagio (Italy), Brahmshaus (Germany), La Cité des Arts (France), Mishkan Omanim (Israel) and in the US at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. Recent projects include Ice Becomes Water for string orchestra and electronics fashioned from glacier field recordings, commissioned by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.

Judith Shatin is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Emerita and Founder of the Virginia Center for Computer Music at the University of Virginia. She has been honored with four Composer Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as awards from the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, the New Jersey State Arts Council and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Arts Partners Program sponsored a two-year retrospective of her music, and the commission of her evening-length folk oratorio, COAL. Her music can be heard on the Centaur, Innova, Neuma, New World, Ravello and Sonora labels. An advocate for her fellow composers, Shatin has served on the boards of the American Composers Alliance, the League/ISCM and as President of American Women Composers Inc. In demand as a master teacher, she has served as BMI composer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University, Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Senior Composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference.


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Composition Fellows


Described as a hugely prolific musician with a wide variety of skill sets (, Keane Southard is a composer and pianist who believes deeply in the power of music to change how people think, feel, and act, and that it can be a catalyst for positive change in the world. His music has been described as a terrific discovery (Bandworld Magazine) and highly-professional and well-orchestrated (Portland Press Herald)and, taken as a whole, his works reflect his many diverse musical tastes, from medieval chant to 70's rock, Bach to the Blues, and 19th century romanticism to Latin dance forms. He has been a recipient of many awards including the Cecil Effinger Composition Award and George Lynn Prize from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and First Prize in the Longfellow Chorus International Cantata Competition. He has been awarded residency fellowships at Playa and the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center. Keane earned his M.M. in composition at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he was a graduate assistant in music theory. His composition teachers include Kenneth Girard, Loris Chobanian, Daniel Kellogg, Jeffrey Nytch, Carter Pann, Richard Toensing, and Allen Shawn. Keane spent 2013 in Brazil as a Fulbright scholar studying music education.


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Cody W. Forrest has been commissioned by Dinosaur Annex, conductor Daniel Hege, and the Cochran-Wrenn Duo. His music has been performed by the Cassatt String Quartet and internationally by violinist Léo Marillier, awarded the Classic Pure Vienna International Composition Competition grand prize, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, NEC Honors Ensemble Award, and selected for the 2015 EarShot New Music Readings. In the summer of 2016 he served as composer-in-residence for the Chamber Music Campania festival in Varano, Italy.

Cody earned his D.M.A. from New England Conservatory, M.M. from Syracuse University, and B.M. from the University of North Texas. At Syracuse University, he was a recipient of the Heaton Fellowship, and at UNT he received the Martin Mailman Scholarship and the Outstanding Undergraduate in Composition Award his senior year. His teachers include Kati Agócs, Malcolm Peyton, Daniel Godfrey, Andrew Waggoner, and Cindy McTee.


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Kristina Warren is a composer, improviser, critical maker, and lapsed vocalist based in Providence, Rhode Island. Her practice—including building/playing unique instruments, composing for/with chamber ensembles, and writing about gender in electronic music—centers listening and noise, instrumentality and access.

Warren has presented work around the world, including at the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition [US], Espace des arts sans frontières [FR], ICMC [GR, NL], Interfaces [CY], ISSTA [IE], Mise-En Music Festival [US], NIME [US], NYCEMF [US], Spektrum [DE], and TENOR [CA, ES]. Her music has been performed by ensembles such as Chartreuse, Dither, Ekmeles, JACK Quartet, loadbang, Meehan / Perkins Duo, Sō Percussion, and Yarn/Wire. She has been selected as a PEO Scholar Award recipient (2016), an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2016), and a finalist in the American Composers Forum National Composition Contest (2014).

She performs in various configurations, including the solo project Petra. Recent collaborators include Amy Brandon (guitar, electronics), Kwaku Kwaakye Martin Obeng (African drums), Rachel Devorah (horn, electronics), and Theresa Wong (cello, voice).

Currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Electronic Music and Multimedia at Brown University, Warren holds a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies from University of Virginia and a B.A. in Music Composition from Duke University.


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The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, Inc.
Tobias Werner, Music Director
Donald Crockett, Senior Composer-in-Residence
Susie Ikeda, Executive Director

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