PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MM, The Juilliard School
BA, Columbia College
Awards and Distinctions
Heinz Award in the Humanities
Composer-in-Residence, Kennedy Center
Composer-in-Residence, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
What is your hometown?
What is your favorite recording?
Mouse on Mars: Idiology.
What are you passionate about outside of music?
Who were your major teachers?
John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, and Samuel Adler.
What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?
"Themify the theme." (i.e. make the theme more like a theme!)
What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?
“What should I be listening to?”
What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?
What was a turning point in your career?
Discovering electronica as a college student.
If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?
What is your daily practice routine?
Compose 9-1. Orchestrate 2-5.
What are your most important collaborations?
Mark Campbell (librettist for my opera) and Gus Van Sant (director of the film, Sea of Trees, for which I wrote the music).
Who have you had the privilege of teaching?
Daniel de Togni, Taylor Rankin, Jonah Gallagher, and Yangfan Xu.
What recordings can we hear you on?
Mason Bates: Works for Orchestra, SFS Media
Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, CSO Resound
What is your unrealized project?
An oratorio or animated film.