Professor of Composition
Chair, Composition Department
Academic Leave Fall 2022
Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon was born in Guadalajara, México, in 1962. Literature inspires many of his compositions, such as the extended song cycle Songtree, on poetry by Raúl Aceves and William Shakespeare, the miniature opera NiñoPolilla, on a libretto by Juan Trigos senior, and the scenic cantata Comala, based on the novel Pedro Páramo, by the great Mexican author Juan Rulfo. Comala was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011.
Ricardo’s compositional voice is also shaped by a steady collaboration with the particular group of musicians for whom he writes, including Tony Arnold, Molly Barth, Stuart Gerber, Dieter Hennings, Hanna Hurwitz, Daniel Pesca, Paul Vaillancourt, Colin Stokes, and Tim Weiss, among others. This artistic affinity brought many of these musicians together to co-found with Ricardo the ensemble Zohn Collective in 2017. Ricardo has also collaborated across artistic disciplines, with cartoonist José Ignacio Solórzano (Jis), writer / performer Deidre Huckabay. songwriter Alfredo Sánchez, PUSH Physical Theater, Garth Fagan Dance, and puppet company La Coperacha.
His works have been performed internationally, and supported by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Koussevitzky Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Guggenheim Foundation, and México’s Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, among other institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Recordings of his music have been released on the Bridge, Oberlin Music, Verso, CRI, Quindecim, Innova, Ravello, New Focus, and Tempus labels. He studied at the University of California, San Diego (BA, 1986), and at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, 1993), where his principal teacher was George Crumb. He is currently Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music, having previously taught at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and the Escuela de Música, Universidad de Guanajuato.