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Oscar Bettison

 b. 1975Photo credit: Sarah Bettison


English    Deutsch    

Works explore boundaries of pitch and noise, classical and rock, convention and invention * Evolving rhythmic cycles and industrial sonorities * Writes for existing instruments with creative and re-imagined roles, as well as "Cinderella" instruments (invented instruments made from found materials) * Many works involve electro-acoustic elements * "An unconventional lyricism and a menacing beauty" (WNYC Soundcheck) * Commissions include Los Angeles Philharmonic, MusikFabrik, So Percussion, Ensemble Klang, Bang on a Can All Stars, London Sinfonietta, Rolf Hind, Roundhouse (London), Tonlagen Festival (Dresden, Germany), and the BBC * Composition Faculty at Peabody Institute since 2009

Works by Oscar Bettison include:
Livre des Sauvages (2012) for large ensemble
B+E (with aggravated assault) (2006) for bass clarinet, percussion, piano, electric guitar, violin, and cello
Gauze Vespers (2007) for clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, and cello
O Death (2005–07) for 2 saxophones, trombone, percussion, piano, and electric guitar

For more information and sound samples, please visit

Looking Ahead: The world premiere of Oscar Bettison’s String Quartet takes place this summer at Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music.


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