Named 2007 Composer of the Year by Musical America and honored with multiple Grammy Awards for his ground-breaking setting of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Bolcom is a composer of cabaret songs, concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, and much more. He was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his 12 New Etudes for piano.
With his wife mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, he has performed in concert for 40 years throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. In addition to their live performances, Bolcom and Morris have recorded two dozen albums. Their first one, After the Ball, garnered a Grammy nomination for Joan Morris. Their most recent recordings are two albums of songs by lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and Gus Kahn on Original Cast Records, Bolcom’s complete Cabaret Songs, written with lyricist Arnold Weinstein, on Centaur, and Someone Talked: Memories of World War II with tenor Robert White and narrator Hazen Schumacher, available on Equilibrium.
Some recent premieres include: Canciones de Lorca with tenor Placido Domingo, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and conductor Carl St. Clair at the gala opening concert of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Orange Country Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA (September 2006); Lucrezia, a one-act opera for 5 singers and 2 pianists [March 2008]; First Symphony for Band with the University of Michigan Symphony Band conducted by Michael Haithcock [February 2009];Prometheues [poetry by Lord Byron] with pianist Jeffrey Biegel, the Pacific Chorale, and the Pacific Symphony conducted by Carl St. Clair [November 2010]; several song cycles; and solo piano works. For a complete listing, consult www.WilliamBolcom.com.
In the spring of 2007 Bolcom was feted in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, with a two and a half-week festival of his music, including master classes, recitals and concerts of his vocal, organ and chamber music. Titled Illuminating Bolcom, the festival was highlighted by two performances of Songs of Innocence and of Experience accompanied by animated projections of Blake’s illuminations. The animations were commissioned by VocalEssence and created by projection designer Wendall K. Harrington, who designed the projections for Bolcom’s opera, A View from the Bridge.
In November 2007 his opera A View from the Bridge was produced by the Washington National Opera in Washington, DC. A new chamber orchestration was premiered at the University of Texas at Austin in April 2010. In February 2008 hisEighth Symphony was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in three performances.
Bolcom taught composition at the University of Michigan from 1973-2008. In the fall of 1994 the University of Michigan named him the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition.
He has recorded for Advance, Jazzology, Musical Heritage, Nonesuch, Vox, and Omega, among many others.
For more information, please visit William Bolcom’s website at www.williambolcom.com.
-Biography taken from www.bolcomandmorris.com.