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Associate Professor of Composition, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music

Berlin Prize Fellow - Class of Spring 2000

Laura Elise Schwendinger is Professor of Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also artistic director of the Contemporary Ensemble. She was the first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize Fellowship, in 1999.


Her music has been praised in most of the nation’s major newspapers and performed by many of the leading artists of our day, including Dawn Upshaw, the Arditti Quartet, Matt Haimovitz, the JACK Quartet, Jennifer Koh, Janine Jansen, Christopher Taylor, Julia Bentley, ICE, the Aspen Ensemble, Collage, Theater Chamber Players, Stony Brook Premiere Series, Boston Musica Viva, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. It has been performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall, The Kennedy Center, Miller Theater, Symphony Space, The Times Center, Merkin Hall, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonic, Théâtre du Châtelet and the Tangelwood, Ojai, and Ravinia Festivals.


Schwendinger’s honors include those from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations, Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the American Academy of Arts and Letter, including a Goddard Lieberson fellowship given to “mid career composers of exceptional gifts,” and a Charles Ives Fellowship, The Copland House, The Harvard Musical Association and first prize of the ALEA III Competition, and residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo Colonies, Bellagio and Liguria Conference Centers in Italy, Tyrone Guthrie center in Ireland, Virginia Center, and Land Salzburg-Austria. Recent performances include commissions from The American Composers Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, Miller Theater, The Aspen Ensemble, The Cygnus Ensemble, Voices of Change and the San Francisco Conservatory’s Blueprint Series. Upcoming commissions and performances include works for Matt Haimovitz’s Ucello Ensemble and the Lincoln Trio. An entire evening of her works were featured on the Music Institute of Chicago’s Four Score Festival recently (with Augusta Read Thomas and Stacy Garrop), three CDs of her works are soon to be released on Centaur, Albany records, and on Cedille records. Her entire works for solo piano, have just been recorded by 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Bronze Medalist, Christopher Taylor.

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