Music Department


Evan Ziporyn, composer and clarinetist, is a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-stars (Musical America's 2005 Ensemble of the Year), with whom he has toured the globe since 1992. He redefined the clarinet with his 2001 solo CD, "This Is Not A Clarinet," which made numerous Top Ten lists across America. He recorded the definitive version of Steve Reich's solo clarinet New York Counterpoint for Nonesuch and, as a member of the Steve Reich Ensemble, the Grammy Award winning Music for 18 Musicians. His music provided the soundtrack for the PBS film "Tail-enders", and his playing was featured in Tan Dun's soundtrack for the film "Fallen." He has also recorded with Paul Simon, Matthew Shipp, and Ethel. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of Boston's Gamelan Galak Tika, a group dedicated to new music for Balinese gamelan, which he has studied for almost 30 years.

He received a Fulbright in 1987, and in 1990 began composing an ongoing series of groundbreaking cross-cultural works, combining gamelan with saxophones, guitars, electronics, Chinese and African instruments, and full orchestra. His fusion opera, "Shadow Bang," a collaboration with master Balinese dalang Wayan Wija, was the centerpiece of the 2006 Amsterdam GrachtenFest; his works have also been featured at festivals in London, New York, and the Sydney Olympics.

His work as a composer and performer led to his receiving the 2007 USArtists Walker Award and the 2004 American Academy of Arts and Letters Goddard Lieberson Fellowship. His music has been commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet, Wu Man, the American Composers Orchestra, the American Repertory Theater, Maya Beiser, So Percussion, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, with whom he recorded his 2006 orchestral CD, "Frog's Eye." Recordings of his works have been released on Cantaloupe, Sony Classical, New Albion, New World, Koch, Innova, and CRI. He has collaborated with some of the worlds most creative and vital living musicians, including Brian Eno, Ornette Coleman, Thurston Moore, Meredith Monk, Iva Bittova, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Don Byron, Louis Andriessen, Cecil Taylor, Henry Threadgill, Wu Man, Wayan Wija, and Kyaw Kyaw Naing.

He is Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has two children, Leo (15) and Ava (8). His opera based on the life of Colin McPhee, premiered in Bali with the All-stars and full gamelan in June 2009.

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