About Christopher Cerrone
Composer Christopher Cerrone has earned an international reputation for music that is at once lush and detailed, rigorous, and sensuously appealing. Winning or appearing on shortlists for some of the American music world's top prizes, he is often commissioned by major performing organizations to compose new works.
Cerrone was born March 5, 1984, in Huntington, New York, on Long Island. He attended the Manhattan School of Music, studying composition with Nils Vigeland, and then moved on to Yale for master's and doctoral degrees. Among his teachers there were Christopher Theofanidis, David Lang, and Martin Bresnick. Affiliated with the Red Light New Music and Sleeping Giant composers' groups (and co-founding the former), he began to gain national attention in the middle 2000s decade for such works as the three e.e. cummings poems for choir (2004) and the Invisible Overture for orchestra (2008). Cerrone has written two operas, All Wounds Bleed (2011), for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and piano, and Invisible Cities (2013), for four solo voices, chamber choir, chamber orchestra, and electronics. The latter work was one of several important works by Cerrone to mix electronics (or electric instruments) with conventional instruments; others include How to Breathe Underwater (2011) for baritone, trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and prerecorded electronics.
Cerrone won or came close to winning several of the contemporary music world's most important prizes: he has won several prizes from the music licensing organization ASCAP, won the 2015 Rome Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2014. Those prizes have stimulated new commissions, including those from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Present Music, and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, which released a recording of Cerrone's High Windows in 2020. The 2019-2020 season saw the premiere of a new Cerrone ballet score by the Vienna Philharmonic, the piano concerto The Air Suspended, and The Last Message Received, a choral-orchestral work jointly commissioned by the Northwestern University Chorus, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Yale Glee Club. Cerrone's works have been recorded by eighth blackbird, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and other important contemporary music groups. Cerrone served as a guest faculty member at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore in the 2019-2020 academic year. ~ James Manheim