Born: November 21, 1955
Country: Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Studies: Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.1977), Northwestern University (M.M.1981, D.M.A.1983)
Kyle Gann, born 1955 in Dallas, Texas, is a composer and was new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. Since 1997 he has taught music theory, history, and composition at Bard College. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow (Cambridge University Press, 1995), American Music in the 20th Century (Schirmer Books, 1997), Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice (University of California Press, 2006), No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33" (Yale University Press, 2010), and Robert Ashley (University of Illinois Press, 2012). He also wrote the introductions to the 50th-anniversary edition of Cage's Silence and to the new edition of Ashley's Perfect Lives, and is co-editing the Ashgate Companion to Minimalist Music.
Gann studied composition with Ben Johnston, Morton Feldman, and Peter Gena, and his music is often microtonal, using up to 37 pitches per octave. His rhythmic language, based on differing successive and simultaneous tempos, was developed from his study of Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo Indian musics. His music has been performed on the New Music America, Bang on a Can, and Spoleto festivals. His major works include Sunken City, a piano concerto commissioned by the Orkest de Volharding in Amsterdam; Transcendental Sonnets, a 35-minute work for choir and orchestra commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir; Custer and Sitting Bull, a microtonal, one-man music theater work he's performed more than 30 times from Brisbane to Moscow; The Planets, commissioned by the Relache ensemble via Music in Motion and continued under a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artists' Fellowship; and The Hudson River Trilogy, a trio of microtonal chamber operas written with librettist Jeffrey Sichel, the first of which, Cinderella's Bad Magic, was premiered in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In 2007, choreographer Mark Morris made a large-ensemble dance, Looky, from five of Gann's works for Disklavier (computerized player piano).
In addition to Bard, Gann has taught at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, the School of the Art Instutute of Chicago, and Bucknell University. His writings include more than 2500 articles for more than 45 publications, including scholarly articles on La Monte Young (in Perspectives of New Music), Henry Cowell, John Cage, Edgard Varse, Ben Johnston, Mikel Rouse, John Luther Adams, Dennis Johnson, and other American composers. He writes the "American Composer" column for Chamber Music magazine, and he was awarded the Peabody Award (2003), the Stagebill Award (1999) and the Deems-Taylor Award (2003) for his writings. His music is available on the New Albion, New World, Cold Blue, Lovely Music, Mode, Meyer Media, Brilliant Classics, New Tone, and Monroe Street labels. In 2003, the American Music Center awarded Gann its Letter of Distinction, along with Steve Reich, Wayne Shorter, and George Crumb.
Works for Percussion
- Kyle Gann Bio Retrieved 5/24/2012