Kyle Gann: Biography (shortened one below)

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. He is currently working on Essays After a Sonata: Charles Ives's Concord, to be released in 2015 by Yale University Press.

Gann studied composition with Ben Johnston, Morton Feldman, and Peter Gena. Of his hundred-plus works to date, about a fourth are 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 Varese, 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.

Kyle Gann: Shorter Biography

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 at Bard College. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow, American Music in the 20th Century, Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice, No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33", Robert Ashley, and the introduction to the 50th-anniversary edition of Cage's Silence. Gann studied composition with Ben Johnston, Morton Feldman, and Peter Gena. Of his hundred-plus works to date, about a fourth are microtonal, using up to 37 pitches per octave. He's received commissions from the Orkest de Volharding, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, the Dessoff Choir, the Relache Ensemble, pianist Sarah Cahill, and many others. 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.



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