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Jeffrey Mumford

Oberlin, OH      

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1955, composer Jeffrey Mumford has received numerous fellowships, grants, awards and commissions.

Awards include the “Academy Award in Music” from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and an ASCAPAaron Copland Scholarship. He was also the winner of the inaugural National Black Arts Festival/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition.

Other grants have been awarded by the Ohio Arts Council, Meet the Composer, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music Inc. , the ASCAP Foundation, and the University of California.

Mumford’s most notable commissions include those from the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the San Antonio Symphony, Washington Performing Arts, the Fulcrum Point New Music Project (through New Music USA), Duo Harpverk (Iceland), the Sphinx Consortium, the Cincinnati Symphony, the VERGE Ensemble /National Gallery of Art/Contemporary Music Forum, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Ole Bohn, the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt (Vienna), the Network for New Music, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a consortium of presenters consisting of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Chamber Music Columbus (OH.) and Omus Hirshbein, the Nancy Ruyle Dodge Charitable Trust, the Meet the Composer/Arts Endowment Commissioning Music/USA the National Symphony Orchestra (twice), Cincinnati radio station WGUC, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, and the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress.

His music has been performed extensively, by major orchestras, soloists, and ensembles, both in the United States and abroad, including London, Paris, Reykjavik, and Vienna. Recent and forthcoming performances include *amid fleeting pockets of billowing radiance, *by ‘cellist Christine Lamprea, in Chicago, Los Angeles, Urbana-, IL., Elyria ,OH and Jacksonville , Fl., *of fields unfolding . . . echoing depths of resonant light,* by Ms. Lamprea and the San Antonio Symphony, *in soft echoes . . . a world awaits**,* by Sound Energy, in Boston and the Ysaye Trio in The Hague, The Netherlands, *revisting variazioni elegiaci . . . once more* by ‘cellist Deborah Pae in New York and *three windows* for soprano. ‘cello & harp, by Alyson Cambridge, Christine Lamprea and Ina Zdorovetchi, respectively at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As well, noted Italian pianist, Pina Napolitano will include his *two Elliott Carter tributes in* her European concerts this and next season, with plans to record them as part of a disc of American music.

Current projects include *of radiances blossoming in expanding air,* for ‘cello & chamber orchestra, for Deborah Pae,. a violin concerto for Caroline Chin, a piano concerto for Italian pianist Pina Napolitano, and the ongoing set of “*rhapsodies”* for ‘cello & strings.

*“through a stillness brightening”,* a new 2 CD set of solo, chamber and ensemble works has just been released on the ALBANY Records label (TROY 1473/74).

His 2013 residency at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C, included three concerts featuring his music as well as lectures at three area universities and his alma mater, the Sidwell Friends School. He was (2008) Composer-in Residence at the Alba (Italy) Music Festival and The Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East (Bennington, VT), and returned there in 2013. As well, his program notes (commissioned by the Boston Symphony and Tanglewood) for three works of Elliott Carter were published as part of a celebration of Mr. Carter’s music.

Mumford has taught at the Washington Conservatory of Music, served as Artist-in-Residence at Bowling Green State University, and served as assistant professor of composition and Composer-in-Residence at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He is currently Distinguished Professor at Lorain County Community College in Northern Ohio.

Mr. Mumford is published by Theodore Presser Co. and Quicklight Music.

About this project:

Written for Deborah Pae and the Boston based Phoenix Orchestra, partnering with the London based English Symphony Orchestra, *of radiances blossoming in expanding air* for ‘cello & chamber orchestra, features the ‘cello in a series of ongoing developmental relationships with soloists and ensembles within the orchestra. This solo voice generates motivic and articulative materials which spread throughout its fabric. What results are new timbral combinations, enlarging upon the central voice, thus increasing the number of sonic possibilities in an expansive space. Much of the work’s harmonic material is based on the letters of her first name: *D Eb Bb or A h*.

*of radiances blossoming in expanding air * will have the following instrumentation: solo cello, single winds, single brass, harp, mallet percussion (one player) & strings.

some quotes:

“The orchestration is atmospheric and spare, a Cézanne landscape of shimmering, delicate, iridescent color”. – Mike Greenberg, independent Music Critic, San Antonio, TX

” . . . filled with incredible imagination and beautiful orchestrational detail – really superb” – JoAnn Falletta, Music Director, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony & Ulster Orchestra

“. . . has an unerring knack for fashioning rigorous works as changeable as cloudscapes, bursting with color, nuance and poetry”. – Steve Smith, N.Y. Times

“. . . a philosophy of music making that embraced both raw passion and a gentle imagistic poetry . . his pieces carry musical evocations of the effects he describes” – Alan Kozinn, N.Y. Times

eight aspects of appreciation II

Composed in 2012.

Recorded in the West Garden Court of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Feb 10, 2013. Miranda Cuckson, violin / Julia Bruskin, ‘cello.

Sample is the first 7:10 of the total 13:04.

Essentially a set of miniature variations. Although each variation is distinct relative its developmental scenario and mood, there are also a fair number of references to other movements. This is particularly the case in he eighth and concluding variation, which acts as a kind of summation of many of the previous variations.

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. . . and symphonies of deepening light . . . expanding . . . ever cavernous

Composed 2008.

Recorded in Music Hall, Cincinnati, OH, March 27, 2009.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, James Gaffigan, conductor.
Sample is the first 7:08 of a total of 11:20.

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two rhapsodies for ‘cello & strings

Composed 2009-2010, revised 2013.

Recorded in the West Garden Court of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Feb 10, 2013.
Julia Bruskin, ‘cello / National Gallery of Art Chamber Ensemble, Peter Wilson, conductor.
Sample is the first 6:51 of a total of 13:40.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles November 23 2016 | By Jeffrey Mumford
Who Is In the Club?

Under most circumstances, when a White person describes themselves as a composer it can be safely assumed that, in the minds of those present, the images of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach...

See more of Jeffrey Mumford's articles on NewMusicBox.