Tamar Diesendruck

Tamar Diesendruck

Fellow: Awarded 1999
Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada

Bunting Institute

Tamar Diesendruck’s favored compositional medium is virtuosic chamber music, although she has also composed solo, orchestral, choral, wind ensemble and vocal works. Her music is often characterized as having a very wide range of expression and includes experimental pieces like 8 ——>∞ for eight cellos (eight tends toward infinity), and unusually slow, stark music like the grief that does not speak. Other works from the 1990s found common ground between disparate musical cultures. More recent works avoid direct recapitulation of specific references and in the last few years, some freedom for the players has been incorporated in an effort to create complex webs and networks of sound that are fashioned from fragments of individual "utterance"; in DAGGER/the night has been unruly (String Quartet No. 3) rhythmic freedom was guided in some passages by the use of speech rhythm from players’ interpretation of text as a way of shaping longer lines and gestures.

Works have been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe; performers include the Pro Arte Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Escher Quartet, Eastman and New England Conservatory Wind Ensembles, Lions Gate Trio, Speculum Musicae, New Millenium Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Phantom Arts Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, New Century Players, League of Composers-ISCM, Earplay, Musica D’Oggi, Composers, Inc., Parnassus, Washington Sq. Contemporary Music, Prism Players, Music on the Edge, San Francisco Chamber Singers, Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Cabrini Quartet, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, avant garde violinist Carla Kihlstedt, pianist Donald Berman.

Ms. Diesendruck earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in composition from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. from Brandeis University. Support includes grants, fellowships, commissions, and residencies, notably the  Bunting Fellowship, Rome Prize, two Koussevitzky Commissions, two Fromm Commissions, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Academy Award, Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Copland Fund Recording Grants, and residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Rockefeller Foundation, Camargo, Bogliasco Foundation,Yaddo, and the Djerassi Foundation. An itinerant composer, she has taught at a number of institutions, most recently at the University of Southern California.

Recordings are available on the Centaur, Bridge, and Stanley labels.

 Profile photograph by Sumakshi Singh.

Spouse: Eric Moe, Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition, 1988

Scroll to Top