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Alexandra du Bois

New York, NY            

The music of Manhattan-based composer Alexandra du Bois (Ph.D. Stony Brook University; M.M. The Juilliard School; B.M. Indiana University) has been performed in concert halls throughout five continents—her travels connecting her tangibly to the countries that inform and inspire her work. Du Bois, described as “an intense, luminous American composer,” (Los Angeles Times) is a composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, solo, collaborative and multi-discipline works. Her music has been praised as “an impressively sustained essay in musical melancholy” (The Guardian, London), “offering an extraordinary interface between traditional and avant-garde” (New Zealand Herald) “powerfully evocative music with a rich sense of harmony and color” (Brooklyn Rail), as “astonishing” and “an unerring sense of beauty” (Los Angeles Times), “stunning” (BBC Manchester),” “well-made and deeply sincere” (New York Times), and as “music with beauty and heart” (Huffington Post).

Alexandra du Bois’ music is often propelled by issues of indifference and inequality throughout the United States and the world. “This music attempts to be a conscience in a time of oblivion. She dared to counter abuses of moral authority with an internal, personal sound using the string quartet as a witness, a reminder, that music and creativity are part of a continuing web of responsibility,” stated Kronos Quartet founder and first violinist David Harrington in 2003. “Alexandra du Bois, for one, looked out at the world and heard an urgent, inward sound revered by western composers since 1750 as the repository of some of their deepest thoughts.”

Du Bois is Composition Faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She has previously been Composer-in-Residence at Dartmouth College, Carnegie Hall through Weill Institute’s Professional Training Workshop Kronos: Signature Works, Merkin Concert Hall, Harrison House, The Hermitage, Mammoth Lakes Music Festival and with Southwest Chamber Music throughout Vietnam and Los Angeles. Her works and arrangements have been released on Harmonia Mundi, Kronos Quartet, Navona, Parma, and Perspectives Recordings labels. Alexandra du Bois has lived in Manhattan since 2005 and is a member of BMI.

She has been described as “one of America’s most promising young composers” (Los Angeles Times) and “a painter who knows exactly where her picture will be hung” (New York Times). Her commissions range from orchestral (Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s) to chamber music and chamber orchestra (such as Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Beaux Arts Trio, Kronos Quartet, Savannah Music Festival Daniel Hope and Friends, New York Classical Players, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings), to vocal (Milwaukee Choral Artists, PALS Children’s Chorus) and collaborative (photojournalist Michelle Andonian, video artist Pierre St. Jacques, choreographers Colin Baja and Spenser Theberge), among many others.

Her music has made its home at venues around the world including Théàtre de la Ville, Paris; Carnegie Hall, New York; Teatro Gran Rex, Buenos Aries; Barbican Hall, London; Centro Kursaal, San Sebastián; City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney, Australia; Khachaturian Concert Hall, Yerevan, Armenia; De Oosterpoort, Groningen, the Netherlands; Hanoi Opera House, Ha Noi, Vietnam and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, among others.

EXCERPT string quartet: oculus pro oculo totum orbem terrae caecat (An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind)

Commissioned and performed by Kronos Quartet.
“This was a stunning piece that explored the landscape of war and conflict with a sorrowful tone of foreboding, chaos and devastation.”-BBC Manchester

“A quartet by American composer Alexandra du Bois, still in her early 20s, was an impressively sustained essay in musical melancholy.” 
-The Guardian, London
“It is the most impressive work by a composer of that age I have heard since the early pieces of Thomas Adès a decade earlier.” -The Los Angeles Times

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Fanfare for orchestra

2017 Boston premiere of Alexandra du Bois’ Fanfare for orchestra at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Jonathan McPhee, conductor. It was inspired by the inauguration of the first African American to hold office of President of the United States of America and the hymn “We Shall Overcome.” Commissioned and premiered by the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Randall Craig Fleischer, conductor.

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String Quartet No 4: Obala (Coast) – Apollo Chamber Players – World Premiere

This is a work influenced by people displaced as a result of war and conflict and the fact that music travels with us, making its home in new lands, and especially Syrians making their perilous journeys towards Western Europe and across the Adriatic Sea. It was inspired by the tapestries of traditional Croatian folk music, the undulating Adriatic and the so-called “Istrian scale” from coastal Croatia.

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