Schwendinger, Laura

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Laura Schwendiger


Born: January 26, 1962

Country: Mexico City; Madison WI, USA

Studies: University of California, Berkeley



The first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize, Laura Schwendinger is a Professor of Composition at UW Madison. Her music, performed by leading artists of our day, Dawn Upshaw (on tour 1997-2013; TDK/Naxos DVD), Arditti& JACK Quartets, Jennifer Koh, Janine Jansen, Miranda Cuckson, Matt Haimovitz, ICE, Eighth Blackbird, New Juilliard Ensemble, Collage, StonyBrook Premiere, Boston Musica Viva, Aspen Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Trinity Choir NOVUS, American Composers Orchestra and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln-Center, Times Center, Symphony Space, BargeMusic, Corcoran Gallery, Institute of Advanced Study-Princeton and Tanglewood, Aspen and Ojai Music Festivals; and at the National Arts Centre Canada, Théâtre Châtelet, Wigmore Hall, and Berlin Philharmonic, and was an American League of Orchestras Composer-in-residence with the Richmond Symphony in 2016. Her honors include a Guggenheim, Koussevitzky (2), Fromm, Radcliffe Institute, Copland House, Harvard Musical Association, Chamber Music America, League of American Orchestras, New Music USA, two American Academy of Arts and Letters awards (a Goddard Leiberson Fellowship for “mid-career composer of exceptional gifts” and Ives scholarship), First-prize ALEA III, MacDowell (9), Yaddo (7), Tyrone Guthrie Center(5), Bogliasco and Rockefeller Bellagio Centers. Premieres include a Miller Theater commission, ACO UnSafe Commission, Sounding Beckett (Off-Broadway, Classic Stage Co.), and a National Opera Center Discovery award for her opera Artemisia, which will be produced in NY and SF in 2019.

Her reviews include..“Evok(ing) a sense of serene mystery and infinite beauty”, “evincing an acute sonic imagination and sure command of craft.”, “darkly attractive, artful and moving…” "talent to burn…ballsy, confident music-making in both writing and execution…proves that serious contemporary music does not have to dumb down to be immediately accessible and emotional”,“...her music has at its core her own impressive point of view... … displays an acute ear for engaging melodic contours and evocative settings”, “not a single moment in her works sounds contrived, formulaic, or artificial…intensely and strongly "alive", “This was shrewd composing, the genuine article. Onto the season's best list it goes.” The NY Times Playlist review of her High Wire Acts, “The works grouped together on this captivating disc… she sketches musical short stories of somnambulant fragility and purpose.”[1]

Works for Percussion

Approaching Storm - Percussion Duo; 2 Piano
Aviary - Percussion Quartet; Piano
Elements for Percussion Ensemble - Percussion Ensemble
Equatorial Jungle - Multiple Percussion; Piano