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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Coming up...

Bolcom: "Tears at the Happy Hour" with Rayanne Dupuis & Guy Livingston

Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC), New York, NY

The New York debut of the internationally acclaimed soprano Rayanne Dupuis. Ms. Dupuis and pianist Guy Livingston ("An exceptionally agile and charismatic performer"— Los Angeles Times) perform a program of Bolcom's songs, including the U.S. premiere of Bolcom’s “Poèmes libres de droits,” written expressly for them. The song cycle, on poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, is a wistful, surrealist tip of the hat to Bolcom’s formative years in Paris.


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