Welcome

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.

Updates...

New Release: Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Band 

A concerto grosso is a Baroque-era form involving a small group of instrumentalists, called the concertina, in dialog with the ripieno or large orchestra. William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra was commissioned by the PRISM Quartet. A new recording by the PRISM Quartet and Temple University Wind Symphony is now available for streaming and download.

The piece originally premiered with the Detroit Symphony in 2000, and was later recorded by PRISM with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project for innova Records.

Mr. Bolcom has adapted the work for sax quartet and wind ensemble, which PRISM recorded with the Temple University Wind Symphony under Dr. Patricia Cornett for an April 22, 2022 release on BCM&D Records, the label of  Temple University Boyer College of Music & Dance.

Now available for streaming and download

 

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A ghostly "Graceful Ghost" 

In this age of virtual performances, the saxophone sextet The Moanin' Frogs took a unique approach to filming an elegant, ghostly version of Bolcom's Graceful Ghost. 

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Discography

Calendar

Previous events

William Bolcom Tribute Concert

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Detroit Film Theatre Auditorium, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202

Pro Musica Detroit presents a tribute to the music of William Bolcom. The concert will feature a quartet of the composer’s most trusted collaborators, including pianist Marc-André Hamelin, violinist Sonia Lee, cellist Jeremy Crosmer, baritone Neil Michaels and pianist John Bogdan. Also performing will be special guest pianists LUMINO and John Etsell, and clarinetist Lisa Raschiatore. Program selections include a piece from A View from the Bridge, Spring Trio: A Bouquet of Traditional Flower Rags, The Graceful Ghost Rag, plus a world premiere of a new sonata by William Bolcom.

William Bolcom and Joan Morris are invited special guests.

$15 General admission. Current photo ID and proof of full vaccination required.

Apr24

Bolcom: Piano Concerto No. 2

Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Ehrenhof 1, 40479 , Düsseldorf, Germany

New relationships and new sounds spring to life for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra debuts of conductor Elim Chan and pianist Igor Levit – plus William Bolcom's brand new Piano Concerto No. 2 – for the MCO's return to Düsseldorf's Tonhalle. William Bolcom has won the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and studied with both Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud. His output has been a continual challenge to the artificial distinction of serious and popular music, and in using music to address both the general public and informed audiences, he is well-suited for the soloist of his latest piano concerto. Igor Levit established himself early on in his career for his formidable technique, the range of his repertoire and his meaningfully constructed programmes.

Apr21

Bolcom: Piano Concerto No. 2

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Platz d. Deutschen Einheit 4, 20457 , Hamburg, Germany

New relationships and new sounds spring to life for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra debuts of conductor Elim Chan and pianist Igor Levit – plus William Bolcom's brand new Piano Concerto No. 2 – for the MCO's return to Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie. William Bolcom has won the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and studied with both Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud. His output has been a continual challenge to the artificial distinction of serious and popular music, and in using music to address both the general public and informed audiences, he is well-suited for the soloist of his latest piano concerto. Igor Levit established himself early on in his career for his formidable technique, the range of his repertoire and his meaningfully constructed programmes.

Apr20

Bolcom: Piano Concerto No. 2 (World Premiere)

Heidelberger Frühling 2022, Heidelberg, DE

New relationships and new sounds spring to life for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra debuts of conductor Elim Chan and pianist Igor Levit – plus the world premiere of William Bolcom's Piano Concerto No. 2 – at the MCO's annual residency at the Heidelberger Frühling festival. William Bolcom has won the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and studied with both Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud. His output has been a continual challenge to the artificial distinction of serious and popular music, and in using music to address both the general public and informed audiences, he is well-suited for the soloist of his latest piano concerto. Igor Levit established himself early on in his career for his formidable technique, the range of his repertoire and his meaningfully constructed programmes.

William Bolcom: Violin Concerto

Bradley Symphony Center, 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI

Ken-David Masur, conductor; Ilana Setapen, Violin. Haydn’s Symphony No. 96, one of his famed London symphonies, earned its nickname “Miracle” when a chandelier fell during its premiere and — miracle! — killed no one. This program also includes Prokofiev’s playful Classical Symphony, composed on an idyllic farm against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution; Schoenberg’s moody “Accompaniment to a Film Scene;” and a jazz-infused violin concerto by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom, performed here by the MSO’s own Acting Concertmaster Ilana Setapen.

William Bolcom: Violin Concerto

Bradley Symphony Center, 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI

Ken-David Masur, conductor; Ilana Setapen, Violin. Haydn’s Symphony No. 96, one of his famed London symphonies, earned its nickname “Miracle” when a chandelier fell during its premiere and — miracle! — killed no one. This program also includes Prokofiev’s playful Classical Symphony, composed on an idyllic farm against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution; Schoenberg’s moody “Accompaniment to a Film Scene;” and a jazz-infused violin concerto by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom, performed here by the MSO’s own Acting Concertmaster Ilana Setapen.

William Bolcom's music in concert at FEU, Paris

Fondation des États-Unis , 15 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France, Paris, France

The Fondation des États-Unis is proud to present its first concert of FEU musicians, past and present, originally organized in honor of its 90th anniversary in 2020. This concert features a vast range of compositions of alumni and current composers in residence ranging from 1963 to present day, culminating in three new works written especially for the occasion. This is the first concert that will showcase the rich musical history of the FEU, while bringing together several generations of musicians from all over the globe. Works by Willian Bolcom include Selections from Cabaret Songs performed by Lauren Libaw, soprano, Solange Adamson, soprano and Nicky Purser, piano; Spring Trio: II. The Violet for violin, cello and piano performed by Jennifer Schiller, violin, Sarah Ghandour, cello and John Kamfonas, piano; and Étude No. 12, Hymne a L’Amour of Twelve New Études performed by Jay Gottlieb, piano. Tickets are free but reservations required; the concert will be live streamed on Facebook.

Free, streamed online via Facebook.

Nov16

Scoring the Circle - various Bolcom works

Fondation des États-Unis, 15 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris

Scoring the Circle will include selections from Cabaret Songs - Waitin', Amor, The Actor, Can’t Sleep, Blue (Lauren Libaw, soprano, Solange Adamson, soprano and Nicky Purser, piano); Spring Trio: II. The Violet for violin, cello and piano (Jennifer Schiller, violin, Sarah Ghandour, cello and John Kamfonas, piano) and Étude No. 12, Hymne a L’Amour of Twelve New Études (Jay Gottlieb, piano).

Oct27

American Ballet Theatre - Some Assembly Required

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts - David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

This intimate and unconventional pas de deux follows the arc of a relationship, exploring the moments of tension and companionship that make two into one. Choreography by Clark Tippet; Staged by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner; Music by William Bolcom.

Oct9

William Bolcom: Violin Concerto

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103

Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin explores what it means to be an American composer. David Halen is the soloist in William Bolcom’s Violin Concerto, finding American sounds for a European form. Hungarian refugee Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra showcases the SLSO’s virtuosity. And Joan Tower’s Made in America celebrates the beauty of this nation, reminding us there is work yet to be done.

Bolcom: "Suite of Preludes" (World Premiere)

Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House, 327 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534

Pianist Jenny Lin brings the world premiere of National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and GRAMMY Award-winning composer William Bolcom’s “Suite of Preludes” to Hudson Hall. Composed during lockdown, this new nine-movement suite shares the bill with music by Philip Glass, Bolcom’s friend and contemporary.

World Premiere: Three Intermezzi for Organ

Saint John's Abbey, 2900 Abbey Plaza, Collegeville, MN 56321

Solemn Blessing of the Expanded Holtkamp-Pasi Abbey Pipe Organ featuring the world premiere of an organ piece by William Bolcolm, “Three Intermezzi for Organ,” commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey through the generous donation from Jeff (SJU ’87) and Jamie Barnett; played by Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB.

Free; event may be streamed online

Sep9

William Bolcom and Mark Campbell: Lucrezia

Crowne Plaza of Baton Rouge, 4728 Constitution Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Join us for cocktails, then enjoy a dinner theatre performance of William Bolcom and Mark Campbell’s one hour opera, Lucrezia! Featuring Metropolitan Opera National Council winners, and real life couple! Ashley Dixon and Carlos Santelli in the leading roles of this cabaret style opera in English.

Composer-to-Composer Talks: William Bolcom/Gabriela Lena Frank

Online Video Stream - 5 PM EST

This new series will feature major American composers in conversation with each other about their work and leading a creative life. The intergenerational discussions will begin by exploring a single work with one composer interviewing the other. Attendees will gain insight to each work’s genesis, sound, influence on the American orchestral canon, and be invited to ask questions of the artists. Events will be live-streamed and available for on-demand viewing for seven days following the live event. 5 pm EST.

Bolcom's Lucrezia at Glenn Gould School Fall Opera

Mazzoleni Concert Hall, The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor St W, , Toronto, ON M5S 1V6

Students from The Glenn Gould School’s vocal program perform two one-act operas, led by Music Director Peter Tiefenbach. Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins is the satirical story of two sisters, Anna I, a practical and cynical singer, and Anna II, an emotional and impulsive but mysterious dancer. Lucrezia, a chamber opera by composer William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell, is a zarzuela riff on Machiavelli’s La Mandragola, where the comedy’s heroine Lucrezia, an intelligent seductress, takes charge of her own destiny. Reduced Capacity and Special Ticketing Structure for Safe Physical Distancing.

William Bolcom Presentation: Fred Fox School of Music Visiting Composers Series

Zoom (check music.arizona.edu for link)

University of Arizona MUSIC + FESTIVAL 2020 presents Fred Fox School of Music Visiting Composers Series: William Bolcom, presenter. All festival events are free and open to the public. Go to https://music.arizona.edu/news/music-festival-2020-gershwin-reich-bolcom/ for more information.


 

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