David Rakowski is a widely performed and awarded composer whosemusic is known for its balance between formal rigor and visceralsurface, and for its brilliant scoring, its rhythmic vitality, and itsemotional range. Its influences range from the Second Viennese toStravinsky to jazz, funk and rock and back. His compositions include amuch admired collection of more than 65 widely varied etudes forpiano, four concerti, three symphonies, three piano trios, vocalchamber music, instrumental chamber music in many combinations, aswell as music for orchestra, wind ensemble, and strings. He has alsowritten a fair amount of music for children of all ages.
His awards include the 2004-06 Elise L. Stoeger Prize from theChamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for “significant contributionsto the chamber music repertory”, the Rome Prize, and awards from theAmerican Academy of Arts and Letters, the NEA, and the Fromm,Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and Koussevitzky Foundations. In 1999 hisPERSISTENT MEMORY, commissioned by the Orpheus ChamberOrchestra, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; in 2002 his TENOF A KIND, commissioned by the United States Marine Band, was alsoa finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His music is recorded on theAlbany, New World, Bridge, Innova, and Americus labels, and ispublished exclusively by C.F. Peters.
Rakowski is the only composer ever to be commissioned both bySpeculum Musicae and “The President’s Own” US Marine Band. His TENOF A KIND is widely acknowledged to have set a new standard forthe possibilities of the concert band. His slow music is alsorecognized for its endless melody and singing lines, while his fastmusic has a vigor and rhythmic drive that is infectious. Hisever-expanding set of piano etudes are quirky, witty, virtuosic, andappealing, and are steadily gaining ever wider recognition.
Rakowski is also a well-known teacher, having served ascomposer-in-residence at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival and as aMaster Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Rakowski’s ownteachers include Robert Ceely, John Heiss, Milton Babbitt, PaulLansky, Peter Westergaard, and Luciano Berio. He is currentlyProfessor of Composition at Brandeis University, whose faculty hejoined in 1995; he has also held faculty positions at Stanford,Columbia and Harvard Universities, and at New EnglandConservatory.