Eric Chasalow

Eric Chasalow

Fellow: Awarded 1986
Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada

Eric Chasalow (born 1955) is widely recognized as one of the few composers equally at home with electro-acoustic music as with music for traditional instrumental ensembles. He is especially well known for works that combine traditional instruments with electronic sound. According to a recent review in ARRAY, the journal of the International Computer Music Association, his 2003 CD Left to His Own Devices,

“clearly establishes him as one of the leaders of our times…offer(ing) a wondrous fusion between distinct styles and mediums, nullifying many of the preconceived limitations and/or political borders beset by the ongoing struggle to recognize electro-acoustic art as an equal to the tradition-abundant world of acoustic music.”

Eric Chasalow’s music is programmed throughout the world, with recent performances in Annecy, Ann Arbor, Bacau (Romania), Bari, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Bratislava, Brno, Canberra, Houston, La Paz, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Minneapolis, Milan, New York, Padova, Paris, Pittsburgh, Rome, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sudbury (Ontario), Tempe, Torino, Versailles, and Warsaw. He produces the biennial BEAMS Electronic Music Marathon, recently featuring over fifty pieces, including works by Babbitt, Dashow, Davidovsky, Risset, Stockhausen, Vinao, and Xenakis among many others. Since 1996 Eric Chasalow and his wife, Barbara Cassidy, have directed the The Video Archive of Electroacoustic Music, an oral history project chronicling the pioneer electronic music composers and engineers from 1950 to the present.

Major recent projects include the premiere of Concerning Sunspots for large orchestra by Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and an oratorio, The Puzzle Master, a retelling of the Icarus myth by poet and Wesleyan University Professor of Letters F.D. Reeve. His String Sextet opened the 2009 season of the Portland Chamber Music Festival, and a concerto for internationally renowned horn soloist Bruno Schneider (Lucerne Festival Orchestra) will premiere in 2011.

Eric Chasalow is the Irving G. Fine Professor of Music at Brandeis University, and Director of BEAMS, the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio. He holds the D.M.A. from Columbia University where his principal teacher was Mario Davidovsky and where he studied flute with Harvey Sollberger. Other teachers included Elliott Schwartz, William T. McKinley, George Edwards, and Jack Beeson. Among his honors are awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University (two commissions), New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (awards in 1986 and 2003). His music is available from Suspicious Motives Music, G. Schirmer, McGinnis & Marx (New York) and Edition Bim (Switzerland) and on CDs from New World Records (1993 and 2003), ICMC, Intersound Net Records, SEAMUS, and RRRecords.

More information about Eric Chasalow is available at the websites American Music Center and Art of the States.

Profile photograph by Mike Lovett.

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