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Jeremy Wagner

Berkeley, CA      

Jeremy Wagner is a composer, tinkerer and sonic artist whose compositions probe the limits of human virtuosity. His work has been performed across the US and Europe by some of the world’s most gifted performers. Most recently, Jeremy’s work Pleonasme was premiered by the Arditti String Quartet at the Acanthes-Manifeste, IRCAM, Paris in July 2012 and his adaptation-electronic film score for Hisham Bizri’s Sirrocco has shown at the 2012 Cannes & 2013 Sundance film festivals, among others.  In 2013, Jeremy was selected as winner of the Ensemble Et Cetera composition competition for which a forthcoming chamber work will premiere in Spring 2014.


Jeremy holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Composition and Saxophone performance from Wichita State University where his teachers included Jean Lansing and Katherine Murdock. Moving to Minnesota in 2005, Jeremy earned both Masters (2008) and PhD (2012) degrees in Music Composition from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities under the tutelage of composers Adam Greene, Douglas Geers and dissertation adviser James Dillon.   He is a founding member of Minnesota’s Contemporary Music Workshop (CMW), which tirelessly champions new work; he is recipient of the 2011 McKnight Composer Fellowship and currently resides in Berkeley, CA.

Pléonasme for Arditti Quartet (string quartet)

Pléonasme was composed specifically for the technical facilities and explosive virtuosity of the Arditti string quartet. The work places the members of the ensemble into various dialogic oppositions as they struggle to project shifting musical densities through myriad improvised strategies. The piece mimics the dynamics of human conversational encounters and is therefore amenable to any number of morphologically equivalent programmatic interpretations. Pléonasme is dedicated to the composer’s two small children.

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Oberleitung for Duo Gelland (violin duo)

Written for Duo Gelland.
Premiered 7 October 2013, Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall, University of Minnesota

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Dyspnoea for Irvine Arditti (solo violin)

Written specifically for violin virtuoso Irvine Arditti’s 2009 visit to the Twin Cities this piece was imagined as a quasi-schizophrenic internal dialog between 9 distinct personalities. The resulting meta-counterpoint of thematic materials requires the soloist to navigate between these competing moods in rapid succession as each material invades the others. These constant interruptions serve to first obscure, and eventually, to illuminate the emblematic J. S. Bach fragment laying at the heart of the piece.

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