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Jonathan Bailey Holland

Boston, MA         

A native of Flint, MI, composer Jonathan Bailey Holland’s works have been commissioned and performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles across America. Most recently, he served as the Composer-In-Residence of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for the 2018-19 season—the first composer to serve that role with that orchestra. Highlights of his 2019-20 season include a commission by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum inspired by John Singer Sargent’s dance-inspired painting, “El Jaleo.” He will be featured on the American Composers Orchestra season at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall where he will orchestrate two Charles Ives songs to be sung by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. The Aeolus Quartet and the Arx Duo premiere his latest work, Third Quartet, for string quartet and percussion duo. Boston Opera Collaborative will delve into an evening of Holland’s works; the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival performs His House is Not of This Land as part of the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music; and his music will appear on the Juventas New Music Ensemble season.

Other notable highlights from recent seasons include the premiere of his work Ode by the Cincinnati
Symphony Orchestra, his fifth work for the orchestra, following the initial commission in 2003 of Halcyon
Sun, written to celebrate the opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; the release
of Synchrony, a powerful classical music statement on Black Lives Matter on Radius Ensemble’s Fresh
Paint CD; the commission of Equality for narrator and orchestra by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
featuring the poetry of Maya Angelou with narration by actor Regina Taylor and rapper/actor Common;
and the premiere of Forged Sanctuaries by Curtis on Tour, commissioned to commemorate the
centennial of National Park Service. His piece Clarity of Cold Air has been performed on tour this past
season by Eighth Blackbird.

A winner of a Mass Cultural Council 2019 artist fellowship, Holland is also a recipient of a 2015 Fromm
Foundation Commission at Harvard University. He has received honors from the American Academy of
Arts & Letters, American Music Center, ASCAP, the Presser Foundation, and more. He has served as
Composer-in-Residence for the Plymouth Music Series of Minnesota (currently Vocal Essence); Ritz
Chamber Players; Detroit and South Bend Symphony Orchestras; and the Radius Ensemble. His music
has been recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony; the University of Texas Trombone Choir; trumpeter Jack
Sutte; flutist Christopher Chaffee: and most recently pianist Sarah Bob, on her debut solo CD “…nobody move…”.

His works have been performed by symphony orchestras across America, and he has been
commissioned by the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, among
others. Future collaborations and performances are scheduled by the Arx Duo, Buffalo Philharmonic,
Concord Chorus, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, and Eighth Blackbird, and more.

Holland earned a Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University and studied composition with Ned Rorem at the
Curtis Institute of Music. He is Chair of Composition, Contemporary Music, and Core Studies at Boston
Conservatory at Berklee, and former Co-Chair of the Music Composition program at Vermont College of
Fine Arts.

Halcyon Sun, Movement 2

An orchestral work based on the underground railroad and sunlight.

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This work, written for the Radius Ensemble, is about duality, simultaneity, and living in the age of the first African American President juxtaposed with the need for the Black Lives Matter campaign.

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Ode for Chorus and Orchestra – Movement 1: The Anticipation

Commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Ode was meant to precede Beethoven’s 9th symphony. It begins with the orchestra emerging from the sound of the chorus, and presents music that is introspective while also alluding to some of the motives we hear in Beethoven’s epitomic opus.

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