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John Rot

New York, NY   

John Rot is a composer, pianist, and teacher based in New York City.  His work is driven by a fascination with the sonic beauty and complexity found along the blurred line between pitch and noise, as well as a strong interest in chamber music and the intimacy and insight into human relationships that it affords.  His works have been performed by the JACK Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Kaia Quartet, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and a number of soloists across the country specializing in the performance of new music.  His string quartet toward a terminating congruence. was the only undergraduate work selected for performance in the 2012 Midwest Graduate Music Consortium’s annual conference at Northwestern University.  He received honorable mention in the 2011 BMI International Student Composer Competition for his workwhen, their efforts combined for nine instruments.  He was a finalist for a 2012 MATA Festival Commission and the 2011 MIVOS Quartet Kanter Prize.  In 2010 he held an Artist Residency at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta.  He was the youngest composer to be selected as a national finalist in the 2009 ANALOG Arts Iron Composer competition.


As a pianist, John has competed and performed both nationally and internationally.  He has performed as concerto soloist with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Illinois’s three-time “Orchestra of the Year”) and in the Gala Concert of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.  He placed first in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition open senior division, and has been a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra youth concerto competition and a semifinalist in the Oberlin International Piano Competition.


John maintains an avid interest in pedagogy, and has worked with nearly two dozen private composition students over the last several years, in addition to teaching classes during both the summer and the academic year at Oberlin Conservatory.  He has collaborated with Elgin-based nonprofit Hamilton Wings for the last six years on the SCORE! (Students Creating Opera to Reinforce Education) program, in which 40-60 students ages 9-13 create, produce, and perform an original opera.


John is currently a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition at Columbia University in New York, where he studies with Georg Friederich Haas.  He completed his undergraduate training at Oberlin Conservatory, where he received the Walter E. Aschaffenburg prize, the top award for outstanding music composition.  John has studied composition with George Lewis, Reiko Füting, Lewis Nielson, and Josh Levine.

[duo] – recording

The grand piano is a remarkably versatile instrument that is too-infrequently explored at its full depth, as doing so often requires extensive preparation and coordination between a number of performers. By employing three pianists to perform what is in effect a single line, [duo] attempts an in-depth exploration of the beauty of the piano, in counterpoint with that of the viola. This work owes its realization to the efforts of Carrie Frey, Kevin Dee, Peter Kramer, Eugene Kim, and Andy Ralston.

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[duo] – score

toward a terminating congruence.

toward a terminating congruence. was written for the Jack Quartet and premiered in its entirety in Oberlin, Ohio in April 2012. It was the only undergraduate work selected for performance by the 2012 Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, and was also selected for performance by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, under the direction of Timothy Weiss. Additionally, it was a finalist for the 2011 Kanter Prize awarded by the MIVOS Quartet.

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