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Robert Beaser
 
Biography

Beaser was brought up in a non-musical family. His father was a physician and mother was a chemist. He grew up in Newton, Massachusetts where he distinguished himself at a young age as a percussionist, composer and conductor. He made his debut with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony at Jordon Hall when he was 16, conducting the premiere of his own orchestral work, Antigone. He went on to study with Yehudi Wyner and Jacob Druckman at Yale College, graduating summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1976, and later received his Master of Music, M.M.A. and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music. He studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller and William Steinberg. Other teachers included Toru Takemitsu, Arnold Franchetti, Goffredo Petrassi and Earle Brown. He studied with Betsy Jolas on a fellowship at Tanglewood. In 1977 he became the youngest composer to win the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Residence in Rome proved a watershed in his development, and he embraced more tonal language, synthesizing a variety of diverse influences from jazz to folk into his writing.

Beaser has received numerous awards and commissions from orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic the Baltimore Symphony and the Chicago Symphony. He was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Composition Department at the Juilliard School in New York in 1993. In 1999, Beaser was co-commissioned by Glimmerglass Opera, the New York City Opera and WNET-TV to compose The Food of Love, with Terrence McNally as librettist, which was performed at both venues, aired on PBS, and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2000.

From 1978–1990 he served as co-Music Director and Conductor (along with Daniel Asia) of the innovative contemporary chamber ensemble Musical Elements at the 92nd Street Y, bringing premieres of over two-hundred works to Manhattan. From 1988-1993 he was the Meet the Composer/Composer-in-Residence with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and served as the ACO's artistic advisor until January 2001, when he assumed the role of Artistic Director. In 2013 he became the Artistic Director Laureate of the ACO. Beaser founded the Whittaker New Music Readings (currently the Underwood New Music Readings) with the ACO in the early 1990s, providing an opportunity for young composers to receive hearings of their orchestral works. Along with Tania Leon, Beaser spearheaded the Sonidos de Los Americas Festival from 1993–99, bringing composers and works from the Americas to Carnegie Hall. He currently serves as trustee for the American Academy in Rome, the MacDowell Colony, and the American Composers Orchestra. He was elected to the membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004.

His works are published by Schott Music.
Other Works by this Artist

Central Park
The Food of Love
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