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 recently on White Pine Records. 




Coming up...

Previous events

Bolcom: Quartettsatz [World Premiere]

Seligman Performing Arts Center , 22305 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI

"Opening Night - 25 Years" - Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival on Opening Night! Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings returns to the Festival alongside Festival Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, James Tocco. Includes a World Premiere by William Bolcom: Quartettsatz.

Joan Morris & William Bolcom

St John’s Smith Square, Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HA

Traversing Broadway, vaudeville and music hall, performing music from the ragtime era to the end of the 20th century, Bolcom and Morris have been delighting audiences all over the United States and throughout the world for over 40 years. This evening offers a very rare opportunity to hear the duo in conversation in the first half and performing in the second.

William Bolcom's 80th Birthday


Bolcom: First Symphony

Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. , Kalamazoo, MI 49007

As a fitting finale to end the Festival on a high note, the 2018 Gilmore Artist Igor Levit will perform Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Raymond Harvey, the orchestra’s Music Director Emeritus, returns to conduct this concert, which also includes William Bolcom’s First Symphony in honor of the composer’s 80th birthday.


William Bolcom and Mark Campbell’s one-act farce about the complicated sexual plans of an “enamorato” named Lorenzo go askew at the hands of the titular object of his attempted seduction, Lucrezia, was commissioned in 2008 by the New York Festival of Song, and paired at the same time with the one-act Bastianello, commissioned from composer John Musto and Campbell. Both operas were scored for two pianos, but have been ripe for a light orchestral treatment. Bastianello was scored by its composer for a production at Eastman a few years ago, so when the San Francisco Conservatory sought to produce both works this May, in Bolcom’s 80th birthday month, they went the extra mile and commissioned an orchestration, by Bolcom, of Lucrezia. Their performances on May 4 & 6 are the World Premiere of this orchestration, and the first, glorious presentation of both operas together as accompanied by chamber orchestra. Curt Pajer conducts, Heather Mathews directs, and students in the opera program of SFCM perform these swift-paced, thoughtful, and entertaining operas.


Bolcom: Let Evening Come

Place des Arts, Montreal, Quebec

Two artists, one soul, share the Salle Claude-Léveillée of Place des Arts for a tender and intimate musical dialogue. In a diverse and magical program, Primrose Competition Prize Winner Elias Goldstein and pianist Angela Draghicescu will perform works from their upcoming CD Melanconico. The program will feature works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Kreisler, Zosha di Castri and Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom, with special guest Canadian soprano Linda Tsatsanis.


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