Distinguished Composer in Residence; Composition, Bard College Conservatory of Music
Academic Program Affiliation(s): Bard Conservatory of Music: Composition, Music
Biography:George Tsontakis has been the recipient of the two richest prizes awarded in all of classical music; the international Grawemeyer Award, in 2005, for his Second Violin Concerto and the 2007 Ives Living, awarded every three years by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He studied with Roger Sessions at Juilliard and, in Rome, with Franco Donatoni. Born in Astoria, New York, into a strongly Cretan heritage, he has, in recent years, become an important figure in the music of Greece, and his music is increasingly performed abroad, with dozens of performances in Europe every season. Most of his music, including eleven major orchestral works and four concertos have been recorded by Hyperion and Koch, leading to two Grammy Nominations for Best Classical Composition, in 2009 and 1999. He is Distinguished Composer in Residence at Bard and artist-faculty emeritus with the Aspen Music Festival, where he was founding director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble from 1991 to 1999. He served three years as composer in residence with the Oxford (England) Philomusica; was the featured composer in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the 2008-09 season; and is continuing a six-year Music Alive residency with the Albany Symphony. He lives in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, in Shokan.
Department: Bard Conservatory of Music