May 2, 2003

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY — The Eastman School of Music has appointed composer Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez to its faculty as associate professor of composition, effective July 1, 2003. Dr. Sanchez-Gutierrez comes to Eastman from the faculty of San Francisco State University, where he taught theory and composition since 1995.

Born in Mexico City, Sanchez-Gutierrez received his undergraduate degree from Guadalajara University in Mexico. After two master’s degrees — from Yale University and the Peabody Conservatory — he received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1996. In the spring of 2002, he returned to Yale as guest professor of composition.

Sanchez-Gutierrez’ output covers a broad compositional spectrum. His music has been described by the press as “vigorously organized and highly visceral…neither eclectic nor post-modern, nor owing allegiance to any passing fashion.” His recent interest in vocal and stage works has led to a number of compositions that employ the human voice and its dramatic potential. Collaborations with the distinguished American poet, Lia Purpura, have resulted in two major works: Of Gold and Just Look. Commissioned by Meet the Composer for the celebrated vocal choir, Chanticleer, Of Gold is a set of five virtuosic pieces for mixed a cappella choir. According to the composer, “the work is based on Purpura’s short, almost aphoristic poems that address the intangible, inexorable, and ultimately, unreachable qualities of gold, as described in the testimonies of the many unsuccessful miners of the California gold rush.” Just Look is a short, chamber opera commissioned by Munich’s A/Devangarde Festival. Other recent works include The Ocean Calls for marimba, narrator and electronics, written for the Japanese television corporation, NHK, and a string quartet, Cinco Para Cuatro for the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. A children’s opera based on the legendary work of American artist, author, and playwright Edward Gorey is projected for the near future.

The composer’s numerous fellowships and awards have included the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Fulbright International Fellowship, the Lee Ettelson Composition Award, and first prize in the Sinfomnica Orchestra Composition Competition, among many others. In addition, he received the Mozart Medal from the Austrian Embassy, the National Fund for Arts and Culture, and the National Institute of Fine Arts. In 1994, Sanchez-Gutierrez was selected to represent Mexico at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. He also has written numerous scores for videos, feature films, and theatrical productions.

Sanchez-Gutierrez is articulate in his examination of contemporary music’s role in today’s society: “In the midst of the existential tangle that represents being an artist in what seems to be a decreasingly artful world,” he says, “I believe that the purpose of contemporary art (and music) is to bring the initially contradictory elements and sensations that inform our work into a musical universe that speaks eloquently, originally, and with absolute and uncompromising integrity.”

Composer Sanchez-Gutierrez says he is “thrilled” about his appointment to the faculty of the Eastman School, joining fellow faculty composers David Liptak, Robert Morris, Allan Schindler, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon.

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