National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award-winner William Bolcom (born May 26, 1938) is an American composer of chamber, operatic, vocal, choral, cabaret, ragtime, and symphonic music.

He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan's School of Music in 1973, was named the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition in 1994, and retired in 2008 after 35 years.  Bolcom won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano, and his setting of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience on the Naxos label won four Grammy Awards in 2005.

As a pianist Bolcom has performed and recorded his own work frequently in collaboration with his wife and musical partner, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris.  Cabaret songs, show tunes, and American popular songs of the 20th century have been their primary specialties in both concerts and recordings.  Their 25th album,  "Autumn Leaves," was released in 2015.

In 2018, nine world premieres of Bolcom works commemorated William Bolcom's 80th birthday.



In conversation with Chamber Music Society 

CMS of Lincoln Center has been celebrating various composers' 80 years of experience, craft, and skill. They recently sat down with William Bolcom to learn more about his illustrious career, his influences, and his landmark works.

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Bolcom & Morris to be honored with Lifetime Achievement Medal on February 11 

Arts Alliance Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities event celebrates "outstanding and sustained artistic and creative accomplishments within the arts"

Awarded annually, The Arts Alliance Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities honor and celebrate the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of artists, creatives, individuals. The Lifetime Achievement Medal is presented in recognition of outstanding and sustained artistic and creative accomplishments within the arts, sciences and/or humanities receiving national and or international acclaim.

Medal recipients are celebrated for increasing public awareness of the arts + creative industries in the greater Ann Arbor area and beyond. Medalists make their mark through their leadership, philanthropy and accomplishments setting the standard for excellence and serving as the example for others to follow.

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Coming up...

Previous events


Broadcast BBC Radio 3: Dinner at Eight

"Dinner at Eight" will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 6:30 pm (in the UK - note time difference) https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3


Bolcom: Why Was Cupid a Boy?

Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway, New York, NY

The New York Virtuoso Singers conducted by Harold Rosenbaum. To celebrate The New York Virtuoso Singers’ 25th anniversary 6 years ago, 25 composers were commissioned to write short pieces for them. Five of them, plus another by Katherine Hoover, will be performed tonight to celebrate all six of the composers’ 80th birthdays this year.

Bolcom: Quintet No. 1 for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello 

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, 1941 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

The fabled Emerson String Quartet is joined by the formidable pianist Shai Wosner for collaborative works by a pair of prolific   geniuses: Mozart and Bolcom. Presented by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.


Bolcom: Ann Arbor Saturday [ World Premiere]

Michigan Theatre, 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 90th Season with a commissioned work from William Bolcom, who has already found a way to have fun with the possibilities!


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