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Gregory Spears

gregory spears headshotGregory Spears writes instrumental and vocal music that blends together stylistic aspects of romanticism, minimalism, and early music. His work has been called “astonishingly beautiful” (New York Times), “remarkable” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “coolly entrancing” (The New Yorker). Spears’ first opera “Paul’s Case” was noted for its “solid dramatic timing, compassionate characterizations, and huge potential” (Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns’ Best in Classical Music for 2009).

His music has been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, American Opera Projects, Center City Opera Theater, members of the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Thornton Young Artists Program, the NOW Ensemble (MATA), Present Music, So Percussion, and the Eighth Blackbird Ensemble. New Amsterdam Records will release a recording of his chamber Requiem in the fall of 2011.

Spears has won multiple prizes from both BMI and ASCAP as well as grants and honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Composers Forum, the Fulbright Foundation, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Vagn Holmboe Competition, and Yaddo. He was awarded a First Music Commission to write a piece for the New York Youth Symphony, which was given its premiere at Carnegie Hall. More recently, Spears worked with musicologist Simon Morrison to realize the original score for Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, which was premiered by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Bard Festival.

Spears studied composition at the Eastman School of Music (BM), the Yale School of Music (MM), and Princeton University (PhD). He also spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Danish Academy of Music where he studied early Danish minimalism and orchestration with composers Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård. He was a participant in American Opera Projects’ 2007-2008 Composers and the Voice season.

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