Sebastian Currier b.16 March 1959, USA

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Short Biography:
Heralded as "music with a distinctive voice" by the New York Times and as "lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new" by the Washington Post, Sebastian Currier’s music has been presented at major venues worldwide by acclaimed artists and orchestras.

With works spanning across solo, chamber and orchestral genres, Currier’s works have been performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter, the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet. The 2016–2017 season sees the world premiere of Currier’s new choral work, Blake Fragments, presented on the Guggenheim’s Works & Process series, as well as the world premiere of a new string quartet with the Cassatt String Quartet—a preview performance of a large-scale string quartet cycle Currier is currently working on called Etudes and Lullabies. Additional recent premieres include Divisions (2015) for orchestra, Spark (2015) for the 12 cellists, Flex (2015) for orchestra, Glow (2015) for solo piano, Divisions (2015) for orchestra, Parallel Worlds (2014) for flute and string quartet, and Artificial Memory (2013) for chamber ensemble and electronics.

Currier’s music has been enthusiastically embraced by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter: his "rapturously beautiful" (New York Times) violin concerto Time Machines, commissioned by Ms. Mutter, was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in June 2011, and a recording of the performance was released by Deutsche Grammophon the following September.

Currier has received many prestigious awards including the Grawemeyer Award (for the chamber piece Static), Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies.

Sebastian Currier is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

December 2016

This biography can be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with the following credit:
Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.

Long Biography:
Sebastian Currier is the recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. Heralded as "music with a distinctive voice" by the New York Times and as "lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new" by the Washington Post, his music has been performed at major venues worldwide by acclaimed artists and orchestras, including Anne-Sophie Mutter, the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet.

The 2016–2017 season sees the world premiere of Currier’s new choral work, Blake Fragments, presented on the Guggenheim’s Works & Process series, as well as the world premiere of a new string quartet with the Cassatt String Quartet—a preview performance of a large-scale string quartet cycle Currier is currently working on called Etudes and Lullabies. Additional recent premieres include Flex (2015), first performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Glow (2015) for solo piano, premiered by Inon Barnatan at Wigmore Hall; Divisions (2015), premiered by the Seattle Symphony (and further performed by the Boston Symphony in Boston and New York); Spark (2014), written for the 12 cellos of the Berlin Philharmonic and premiered in Rotterdam; Parallel Worlds (2014) for flute and string quartet, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and Artificial Memory (2013) for chamber ensemble and electronics, premiered by the Paul Dresher Ensemble.

Currier’s music has been enthusiastically embraced by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom he wrote Ringtone Variations, which she premiered in recital with double bass player Roman Patkoló in Taipei’s National Concert Hall in 2013, then toured with the work to the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Vienna Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He also wrote Time Machines for Mutter, which she premiered with the New York Philharmonic in June 2011 and subsequently performed with various orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Asia; as well as Aftersong, which Mutter performed extensively in the US and Europe, including at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Barbican in London, and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. A critic from the London Times said, "If all his pieces are as emotionally charged and ingenious in their use of rethought tonality as this, give me more."

Currier has also had an extended association with members of the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as the orchestra itself. In 2009 his harp concerto Traces, which was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic was premiered by harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet under the baton of Donald Runnicles. He has written numerous pieces for Langlamet, which she has premiered at the Philharmonie, often with members of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Currier has also written works that involve electronic media and video. Nightmaze, a multimedia piece based on a text of Thomas Bolt in which the protagonist dreams he is rushing along a dark, enormous highway, where strange road signs loom up only to disappear into the night, has been performed by Network for New Music and the Mosaic Ensemble. The Philadelphia Inquirer said "every turn is breathtaking" and the New York Times, "Currier’s rich and imaginative music sets the right tone, with its fractured and dissonant baroque-like gestures leading off like highway exits into the void and hinting at distant reservoirs of emotion and yearning."

Recordings include Time Machines, recorded by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon, Next Atlantis with the Ying Quartet on Naxos, and "On the Verge" from Music from Copland House, featuring his Grawemeyer Award-winning Static, and other chamber works. His "Quartetset/Quiet Time" album, recorded by the Cassatt Quartet, says Anne Midgette for The New York Times, "…distances the present from the past, causing the listener to think about music itself."

Currier has received many prestigious awards including the Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies. He received a DMA from the Juilliard School and from 1999-2007 taught at Columbia University. From 2013 to 2016, Currier served as the Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, New Jersey.

Sebastian Currier is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

December 2016

This biography can be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with the following credit:
Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.

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