Christopher Theofanidis

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Christopher Theofanidis (born December 18, 1967, in Dallas, Texas) is an American composer whose works have been performed by leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, and many others. He participated in the Young American Composer-in-Residence Program with Barry Jekowsky and the California Symphony from 1994 to 1996 and, more recently, served as Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony during their 2006–2007 Season, for which he wrote a violin concerto for Sarah Chang. [1]



Theofanidis holds degrees from Yale University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Houston, and has been the recipient of the International Masterprize (hosted at the Barbican Centre in London), [2] [3] the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, six ASCAP Gould Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, a Tanglewood Fellowship, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Fellowship. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, The Here and Now, based on the poetry of Rumi. [4]

Theofanidis' has recently[ when? ] written a ballet for the American Ballet Theatre, a work for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as part of their "New Brandenburg" series, and he currently[ when? ] has two opera commissions for the San Francisco and Houston Grand Opera companies. He has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony, and has just[ when? ] had his first symphony premiered and recorded with that orchestra. He has served as a delegate to the U.S.–Japan Foundation's Leadership Program and is a former faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. He currently[ when? ] teaches at the Yale School of Music. [5]


Selected compositions

Chamber music1992Ragafor flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and 2 percussion written for the Eastman Musica Nova
Piano1992Statuesfor piano
Chamber music1994Kaorufor written for Kaoru Hinata and Christopher Vaneman
Concertante1995Concertofor alto saxophone and orchestra
Orchestral1995This Dream, Strange and Movingfor orchestra
Chamber music1995Ariel Ascendingfor string quartet
Orchestral1996Metaphysicafor orchestra
Orchestral1996As Dancing Is to Architecturefor orchestracommissioned by the California Symphony
Chamber music1997Visions and Miraclesfor string quartet
Chamber music1997Flow, My Tearsfor violin, viola, or cello solowritten for Carol Rodland in memory of Jacob Druckman
Orchestral1998Flourishesfor orchestra
Vocal1999Song of Elosfor soprano, string quartet and piano
Chamber music1999O Vis Aeternitatisfor string quartet and pianocommissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival for Speculum Musicae
Orchestral2000 Rainbow Body for orchestra
Concertante1997–2002Concertofor bassoon and chamber orchestracommissioned by the Absolute Ensemble for Martin Kuuskmann
Orchestral2002Peace, Love, Light YOUMEONEfor string orchestra
Opera2002in 2 acts; libretto by Peter Webster based on the story by James Thurber
  1. Black Dancer, Black Thunder
  2. In the Questioning (a.k.a. Sorrow)
  3. The Center of the Sky
  4. Lightning, with Life, in Four Colors Comes Down
for viola and chamber orchestracommissioned by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra for Kim Kashkashian
Band2005I Wander the World in a Dream of My Own Makingfor wind ensemble
Choral2005for soloists, chorus, and orchestracommissioned by the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus
Chamber music2006for violin and cello
Concertante2006Concerto [No. 1]for piano and chamber orchestra commissioned by Pro Musica Columbus for Donald Berman
Piano2007All Dreams Begin with the Horizonfor pianocommissioned by Meet the Composer for Tanya Bannister
Choral2007for soloists, chorus, orchestra, and several non-Western ensembles
Orchestral2007Musefor strings and harpsichord commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Chamber music2008, 2009Fantasyfor violin and pianochamber version of movement II of the Violin Concerto
Concertante2008Concertofor violin and orchestracommissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony for Sarah Chang
Chamber music2009Summer Versesfor violin and cello
Orchestral2009 Symphony No. 1 for orchestracommissioned by Robert Spano for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra [7]
Concertante2009Concertofor cello and orchestracommissioned by and written for Nina Kotova [8]
Orchestral2010Une Certaine joie de vivrefor orchestra
Opera2011Heart of a Soldierfor San Francisco Opera
Chamber music2012Allegory of the Cavefor string quartet and piano
Piano2012Birichino (Italian: prankster)for piano7 minutes long
commissioned by the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for the 12 semifinal round performers; released on March 15, 2013 [9]
Concertante2013Concertofor marimba and wind sinfonietta
Chamber music2013Quasi una Fantasiafor
Orchestral2013for orchestra
Choral2013for tenor, chorus, and orchestracommissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Chamber music2013At the Still Pointfor piano quintet
Chamber music2014Artemisfor horn, string quintet, and keyboard
Chamber music2014Fivefor string quartet
Orchestral2014for narrator, child actor and orchestra (with film)
Choral2015 Creation/Creator for soloists, chorus, and orchestracommissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra [10] [11]
Orchestral2015 Dreamtime Ancestors for orchestra [12]
Orchestral2015Making Up for Lost Timefor orchestra
Orchestral2015for string orchestra and harp
Chamber music2016Airs and Dancesfor
Choral2016Four Levertov Settingsfor chorus and solo violinwords by Denise Levertov
Orchestral2016Summer Musicfor orchestraCommissioned by the Williamsport Symphony for their 50th anniversary
Chamber music2017for string quartet
Chamber music2017Four Dreamsfor string quartetcommissioned by Apollo Chamber Players [13]
Orchestral2017for orchestraCommissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Chamber music2017Lakshmi and the Seed of Divine Desirefor flute and piano
Chamber music2017One Thing at a Time, 6 Etude Miniaturesfor flute solo
Chamber music2017What Is the Word?for string quartet and electronicsco-written with Mark Wingate; commissioned by the Apollo Chamber Players; words by Samuel Beckett
Concertante2018Concerto No. 2for piano and string orchestra, harp, percussion
Chamber music2019Discipline and Transcendencefor violin solowritten for the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition 2020
Concertante2019Drum Circlesfor percussion quartet and orchestra
Band2019Off the Clockfor concert band
Chamber music2019Quintetfor clarinet and string quartet
Orchestral2020On the Bridge of the Eternalfor orchestraWritten for the University of Colorado Boulder centennial

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  2. Druckenbrod, Andrew (February 15, 2007). "Concert Preview: Theofanidis' 'Rainbow Body' is a hit with orchestras". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  3. Sheridan, Molly (November 1, 2010). "Christopher Theofanidis: Wider Than a Concept, Deeper Than a Sound". NewMusicBox . Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  4. "Christopher Theofanidis | YellowBarn". Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. Kosman, Joshua (July 3, 2011). "CD review: Christopher Theofanidis, 'Symphony No. 1'". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  7. Dallas Symphony [ permanent dead link ]
  8. "TheaterJones, June 1, 2013: A Prankster on the Piano Keys". Archived from the original on June 23, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  9. Young, Andrew (April 23, 2015). "Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premieres Creation/Creator: A piece by Christopher Theofanidis explores mankind's genesis". Atlanta . Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  10. Gresham, Mark (April 25, 2015). "Review: World premiere of Theofanidis' oratorio shows ASO, Spano at the peak of power". ArtsATL. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  11. Knox, Robert (September 24, 2015). "Plymouth orchestra celebrates a century of music with a world premiere". The Boston Globe . Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  12. "20 new folk music-inspired works by 2020". Apollo Chamber Players. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.