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David Ludwig

Philadelphia, PA         

David Ludwig  is “a composer with something urgent to say” (Philadelphia Inquirer) whose music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” (The New York Times) and “supercharged with electrical energy and raw emotion” (Fanfare Magazine). Ludwig’s choral work, “The New Colossus” was selected as the opening music for the private prayer service for the second inauguration of President Obama. In 2012 NPR Music selected him as one of the “Top 100 Composers Under Forty” in the world.

This season’s highlights include the premiere of a concerto written for pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, commissioned by the Bravo! Vail music festival in honor of their thirtieth anniversary. Ludwig was also awarded a prestigious Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Performance Grant to support the creation of The Anchoress, a new song cycle for the PRISM Quartet, Piffaro “The Renaissance Band,” and soprano Hyunah Yu. The work will open the 2018 season for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. 

In 2015, he wrote a concerto for his wife, acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova; the piece was commissioned by a consortium of eight orchestras across the United States. Past seasons have featured performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Dresden Music Festival. Performers who have commissioned him include Jonathan Biss, Jennifer Koh, eighth blackbird, the Dover and Borromeo Quartets, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Steans Institute, and Music from Angel Fire. 

An accomplished film composer, Ludwig scored Michael Almareyda’s Cymbeline, starring Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, and Penn Badgley and was produced by Academy-Award winning producer Anthony Katagas (Twelve Years a Slave). 

Ludwig was the Young Composer at the Marlboro Music School for three consecutive years. He has had fellowships at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies and was a resident artist at the Isabella Gardner Museum. After a three-year residency with the Vermont Symphony funded by Meet the Composer, he is the permanent New Music Advisor. He has been composer-in-residence and director of composition programs at the New York Summer Music Festival, Rocky Ridge Music Center, Atlantic Music Festival, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, the Lake George Festival, and is Artistic Director of the Curtis Young Artist Summer Program. 

He has served on the faculties of Yellow Barn, HighSCORE, and the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute. Active abroad, Ludwig was in residence at the Shanghai International Summer Music Festival and is the resident composer for the STUDIO2021 Ensemble at Seoul National University. He was in residence for the Kingston Chamber Music Festival for their 25th Anniversary Season and is the 2015 Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angel Fire. 

Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig comes from several generations of eminent musicians. His grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin and his great-grandfather, the violinist and composer Adolf Busch. He holds degrees from Oberlin, The Manhattan School, Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig is chair of composition at Curtis Institute where he also serves as the Gie and Lisa Liem Artistic Advisor and director of the 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble. As the director of 20/21 since 2009, he has overseen the commissioning and recording of dozens of new works and the presentation of a multitude of programs in the most recognized venues in the US and abroad.