A selected list of commissioners:
- Orchestras: Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Saint Paul, Saarbrucken (Germany), Vienna (Philharmonic), Baltimore, National, Pacific Symphony, Boston, The MET Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic
- Organizations: the American Music Theater Festival of Philadelphia, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Western Wind, Orpheus Chamber Players, Chamber Music Northwest, Aeolian Chamber Players, Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Mendelssohn, Emerson, Guarneri, Johannes, and Pro Arte String Quartets, American Brass Quintet
- Numerous soloists and chamber music groups worldwide
Recent premieres include:
- Ann Arbor Saturday by Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra on September 15, 2018, in Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Trombone Concerto [and orchestra] by Joseph Alessi, trombone, and the NY Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert on June 10, 2016, in New York, NY. The arrangement for band was premiered by Joseph Alessi and the University of Central Arkansas Wind Ensemble on April 23, 2018, in New York.
- Millennium by Grant Park Festival Orchestra conducted by Carlos Kalmar on Aug. 15, 2014, in Chicago, IL
- Circus Overture by Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin on Aug. 8, 2014, at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA
- Games and Challenges: Something Wonderful Right Away by Time for Three and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Krzysztof Urbanski conducting on May 31, 2013, in Indianapolis, Ind.
- Ninth Symphony by Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra/Rice University, Larry Rachleff, conducting on Oct. 11, 2012, in Houston, TX - in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the school
- Prometheus by Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Chorale, Jeffrey Biegel, piano, Carl St. Clair conducting, in Costa Mesa, CA on Nov. 18, 2010. The recording on Naxos was released in Nov. 2015 and includes Bolcom’s Canciones de Lorca.
- Eighth Symphony on February 28, 29, Mar. 1, 2008 [Boston] and Mar. 3, 2008 [New York] by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus under the direction of James Levine
- Canciones de Lorca with tenor Placido Domingo and the Pacific Symphony conducted by Carl St. Clair at the gala opening concert of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, Calif. on September 15, 2006. The recording on Naxos was released in Nov. 2015 and includes Bolcom’s Prometheus.
- Seventh Symphony: A Symphonic Concerto by The MET Orchestra conducted by James Levine at Carnegie Hall/New York on May 19, 2002; also performed by the Munich Philharmonic under Maestro Levine in early June 2003
Chamber Music and Keyboard
- Horn Trio by Philip Ficsor, violin, Steven Gross, horn, and Constantine Finehouse, piano on September 20, 2018, in Denver
- Suite No. 3 for Solo Violin by finalists in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis on September 7-10, 2018, in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Quartettsatz by Detroit Chamber Winds ensemble on June 9, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Mich.
- Dark Dreams that Will Not Disappear by Jacob Adams, viola and Angela Draghicescu, piano on April 29, 2018, in New York
- Sextet: Vignettes by Chamber Music Northwest on July 4, 2017 in Portland, Oregon
- String Quartet No. 12 – Fantasia notturna by Shanghai String Quartet on April 2, 2017, in Montclair, New Jersey
- A Schumann Bouquet (arrangements by William Bolcom of six Schumann piano pieces) by PRISM Saxophone Quartet on March 26, 2016, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
- The Vicarage Garden by Greg Hayes, harpsichordist on August 30, 2015, in Charlemont, MA
- Fantasia da Chiesa by the American Brass Quintet and Douglas Reed, organist, on April 10, 2015, in Evansville, Ind.
- Primer: Eight Studies for one piano, four hands by ZOFO (Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmermann, pianists) on December 7, 2014, in San Francisco, CA
- Suite No. 2 for Solo Violin by Gil Shaham on February 5, 2013, in Aspen, CO
- Second Piano Quintet by the Pro Arte Quartet and pianist Christopher Taylor in Madison, Wis. on Mar. 24, 2012
- Romanza, commissioned and premiered by the New Century Chamber Orchestra with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin, in Berkeley, California on May 6, 2010
- Octet: Double Quartet premiered by the Guarneri and Johannes Quartets at the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana on February 7, 2008
- Ballade by pianist Ursula Oppens at Weill Hall, New York on January 21, 2008
- Serenata Notturna, commissioned by The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society for, and premiered by, the Guarneri String Quartet and Richard Woodhams, oboe in Philadelphia on October 23, 2005
Vocal and Choral
- Poemes libres de droits by Rayanne Dupuis, soprano and Guy Livingston, piano on June 6, 2018, in Paris
- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano and Pei-Yao Wang, piano on February 11, 2018, in Milton, Mass.
- Solace by The Hartt School Chorus, Edward Bolkovac, conductor, on May 2, 2013, in West Hartford, CT
- The Jersey Side by soprano Christine Brewer and pianist Roger Vignoles on Nov. 28, 2012, in Wigmore Hall, London, England - to commemorate the 80th birthday of former Wigmore Hall Director William Lyne
- Chestnuts [a song cycle] by soprano Emalie Savoy, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Dimitri Pittas, baritone Joshua Hopkins, and pianist Warren Jones on Jan. 19, 2012 in Zankel Hall, NY
- The Hawthorn Tree by by mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle and members of the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York on Oct. 20, 2010
- Lady Liberty, commissioned and premiered simultaneously in Ann Arbor, Mich. by The Ann Arbor Vocal Arts Ensemble, Ben Cohen conducting and in Lexington, Mass. by The Master Singers of Lexington, Adam Grossman conducting, on May 9, 2009
- A Song for St. Cecilia's Day for chorus and organ, commissioned by the University of Chicago to commemorate the restoration of the E. M. Skinner organ at Rockefeller Chapel/Chicago, premiered by organist Thomas Weisflog and several choruses on June 7, 2008
- Four Piedmont Choruses, set to the poetry of North Carolina poet laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer, with the Piedmont Chamber Singers conducted by William Osborne, premiered in Winston-Salem, NC on May 3, 2008
- Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Band by Christopher Creviston, saxophone, and the Arizona State University Wind Orchestra conducted by Gary Hill in Tempe, Ariz. on Feb. 2, 2016
- First Symphony for Band, commissioned by the Big Ten Directors Foundation, premiered by the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Michael Haithcock conducting, in Ann Arbor, Mich., on February 6, 2009
Opera and Stage Works
- Dinner at Eight, a two-act opera based on the George Kaufmann/Edna Ferber play, with libretto by Mark Campbell, premiered at Minnesota Opera on Mar. 11, 2017. European premiere at Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland, David Agler, Music Director.
- Feb. 6, 2016 - European premiere of McTeague, an opera (commissioned and premiered by Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1992), at the Musiktheater in Linz, Austria, with the Bruckner Orchester conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
- Lucrezia, a one-act comic opera for five singers and two pianists, with libretto by Mark Stephen Campbell, premiered at Weill Hall, New York on March 11 and 13, 2008. An arrangement for orchestra and singers was premiered at the San Francisco Conservatory on May 4-6, 2018, in San Francisco.
- A Wedding, an opera based on Robert Altman’s movie of the same name, with libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Altman, premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago on December 11, 2004 - it ran for a total of ten performances.
- Medusa, a monodrama for soprano and string orchestra, premiered March 5, 2003, with Catherine Malfitano and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies. The world stage premiere by Malfitano took place at the Cincinnati Opera on June 26, 2003, with Brian Salesky conducting.