Chair, Composition Department
Professor of Composition
David Liptak was born in 1949 in Pittsburgh. His music has been described as “luminous and arresting,” “richly atmospheric,” and having “transparent textures, incisive rhythms, shimmering lightness.” His compositions have been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Youngstown Symphony, the Sinfonia da Camera of Illinois, the New England Philharmonic, the National Orchestral Association, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Group for Contemporary Music, EARPLAY, the Ying and Cassatt String Quartets, the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, the 20th-Century Consort, and by many other soloists and ensembles.
Among his music found on recordings is Rhapsodies, commissioned for the Syracuse Society for New Music by the Meet the Composer/Readers Digest Consortium Commissioning Program, on the Innova CD American Masters of the 21st Century. Other recordings include two from Albany Records featuring music written for violinist Catherine Tait, and, with musicians from the Eastman School of Music in collaboration with those from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, his chamber piece Giovine vagha, i’ non senti. His music is also found recorded on Bridge Records, including a recording of his Forlane by guitarist David Starobin. A second Bridge recording from 2005 is entirely Liptak’s music, and includes recordings of his Ancient Songs, with baritone William Sharp and the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Serenade, with saxophone soloist Chen-Kwan Lin and a string ensemble conducted by Brad Lubman, and Broken Cries, with the Tarab Cello Ensemble. Ice Flowers, for violin and koto, appears on a Centaur recording featuring the duo “vio-LINK-oto.” In 1994, he received a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation for a trumpet concerto for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which was premiered in 1996 with soloist Paul Merkelo. Among his recent work is Concerto for Viola and Percussion for violist John Graham; Quintet for Piano and String Quartet, which was premiered by the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble in Ithaca in 2006; Cold Litanies, a trio for flute, cello, and piano that was written for and premiered by Trio Xia; Sonata for Cello and Piano, written for cellist Steven Doane; and his String Quartet No. 2, written for the Cassatt Quartet and premiered by the ensemble in Philadelphia in 2003. His Folgore’s Months, a setting of 14th-century sonnets by the Italian poet Folgore da San Gimignano for soprano and wind ensemble, was premiered in 2009 by Mark Scatterday and the Eastman Wind Ensemble with soprano Tony Arnold.
In 1995 David Liptak was awarded the Elise L. Stoeger Prize, given by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of distinguished achievement in the field of chamber music composition. His composition prizes include the 1986 Georges Enesco International Composition Competition and the 1978 Minnesota Orchestra 75th Anniversary Composers Competition; and he was a finalist in the 1982 St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition, the 1989 Sudler International Competition for Wind Ensemble Composition, and the 2008 Sackler Composition Competition. Other distinctions include awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, both in 2002; he has also received the 2006 Lillian Fairchild Award. His music is published by Keiser Classical, Alfred Music – Donald Hunsberger Wind Ensemble Library, and others.
A dedicated teacher of composition students for the past three decades, David Liptak is Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music, where he has taught since 1986. He makes his home in Rochester with his wife, violinist Pia Liptak.
Interim Director of the Eastman Audio Research Studio [EARS]
Professor of Composition
Affiliate Faculty, Music Theory
Robert Morris, Professor of Composition, Affiliate Faculty of the Theory and Musicology Departments. Chair of the Composition Department (1999-2005, 2008-2011), University Mentor (1982), Bridging Fellowship (Department of Religion and Classics, 1997),University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (1996). BM, Eastman; MM, DMA, University of Michigan. Recipient, Margaret Lee Crofts Composition Fellowship, Tanglewood (1967), MacDowell Colony Fellowship (1975), A. Whitney Griswold Award (1975), American Music Center grants (1975, 1991, 2005), NEA grant (1978, 2006), ACLS Fellowship (1983), Hanson Institute for American Music (1997, 2000, 2005). Winner, Harvey Gaul Composition Competition (1982), New Music Delaware competition (1997). Commendation from Paris New Music Review (1997). Guest composer: Composer to Composer Conference, Telluride (CO) (1990); ISCM Festival of Contemporary Music (1990_); Composers’ Symposium, University of New Mexico (1991, 2009); Kobe International Modern Music Festival in Japan (1991); The UCSB Contemporary Music Festival (1992); the Heidelberg Festival (2005), New Music Festival 2009, Western Illinois University, 31st Annual New Music Festival at Bowling Green University (2010). Residencies: Housewrite Scholar Residency, Florida State University (2008), Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology, University of California, Santa Barbara (2009).
Commissions include: Yale Summer School of Music and Arts, Pittsburgh Chamber Symphony, Yale Band, Blackearth Percussion Group, Festival of Contemporary Organ Music, Chamber Arts Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Alienor Harpsichord Foundation, Rochester Philharmonic, National Flute Association, New Millennium Ensemble, Speculum Speculae, CUBE Contemporary Music Ensemble, Jack Quartet, Society for New Music, Smith Publications, Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, Ossia, Hanson Institute for American Music, ISCM. Music published by Morris Music.
Recordings on CRI, New World, Music Gallery Editions, Neuma, Music and Arts, Fanfare, Centaur, Open Space, Albany Records, Attacca, Yank Gulch Recordings, and Music Gallery Editions.
Publications Include: Composition with Pitch-Classes: A Theory of Compositional Design (Yale, 1987), winner of the Society for Music Theory’s Distinguished Publication Award (1988), Class Notes for Atonal Music Theory (1991, Frog Peak), Advanced Class Notes for Atonal Music Theory (2004, Frog Peak), The Whistling Blackbird: Essays and Talks on New Music (University of Rochester Press, 2010). Articles in Journal of Music Theory, Theory and Practice, Perspectives of New Music, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music Theory Spectrum and other journals. Co-Editor, Perspectives of New Music. Editorial Board, Open Space Magazine, The Stefan Wolpe Society. Vice-President of the Society for Music Theory (1998-2000). Member/Instructor of the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music (2005, 2007, 2011).
Professor of Composition
Composer Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez was born in Mexico City in 1964 and now lives in the New York Tundra, where he teaches. He studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, and Henri Dutilleux at Yale, Princeton and Tanglewood, respectively. He has received many of the standard awards in the field (e.g. Barlow, Guggenheim, Fulbright, Koussevitzky, Fromm, American Academy of Arts and Letters). Carlos co-directs the Eastman BroadBand Ensemble. He likes machines with hiccups and spiders with missing legs, looks at Paul Klee’s Notebooks everyday, and tries to use the same set of ears to listen to Bach, Radiohead, or Ligeti.
Associate Professor of Composition
Mexican-born composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon joined the Eastman faculty in 2002. He received his undergraduate degree in guitar and composition from the University of California at San Diego, and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied with George Crumb, Jay Reise, Franco Donatoni, Keith Humble, and Jean Charles François. Prior to joining Eastman, Zohn-Muldoon held positions at the School of Music, University of Guanajuato, Mexico (1993-95), and the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati (1997-2002).
Zohn-Muldoon’s honors include being named 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work Comala, the 2011 Lillian Fairchild Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Tanglewood Music Center (Omar del Carlo Foundation), Camargo Foundation, Fondazione William Walton, Endowment for Culture and the Arts of Mexico, and the Embassy of Austria in México (Mozart Medal). He has been invited as guest composer, lecturer, and adjudicator by prominent cultural institutions in the U.S. and Latin America, including the University of Chicago, Cornell University, the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, and the Composers Conference, among others. In 2012 he was a Trotter Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon, in Eugene.
His works have been performed by groups such as as eighth blackbird, Riverside Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Neue Ensemble Hannover, and San Francisco Contemporary Players. Performances have taken place at ISCM World Music Days, National Public Radio’s “St. Paul Sunday,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gaudeamus International Music Week, Academy of Arts in Munich, Festival Internacional Cervantino, and Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva, among others.
His recent work has included collaborations with artists from other disciplines. Encounters, with illustrations by celebrated Mexican cartoonist José Ignacio Solórzano (Jis), was composed for a concert series leading to the FIFA World Cup of 2006, thanks to a commission from Globusklänge and Initiative Neue Musik Berlin. Silueta como Sirena, written thanks to a commission from the Fromm Foundation, is based on songs by distinguished songwriter Alfredo Sánchez. It was premiered by the Riverside Symphony, the Tarab Cello Ensemble, and Alfredo Sánchez in 2007. Pluck. Pound. Peel., for soprano and an unusual ensemble of plucked instruments, strings, and percussion, was written on texts by poet Raúl Aceves, for the Syracuse Society for New Music, in 2010.