Music of the 21st Century: Christopher Theofanidis

Music of the 21st Century is an annual residency that brings some of the world’s most outstanding composers to the DePauw University School of Music. It provides students and faculty members a special opportunity for personal interaction with these composers to study, perform, and share with our audiences the music of our time. This five-day residency is generously underwritten by Robert A. Schmidt (’69) and Margaret Sheridan Schmidt (’69).

Christopher Theofanidis | Feb. 27–Mar. 3, 2017

Christopher Theofanidis has had performances by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, and the Atlanta, National, Baltimore, St. Louis and Detroit Symphonies, among many others. He has also served as Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony during their 2006/07 season, for which he wrote a violin concerto for Sarah Chang. 

Mr. Theofanidis holds degrees from Yale, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Houston, and he has been the recipient of the International Masterprize, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship to France to study with Tristan Mural at IRCAM, a Tanglewood fellowship and two fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy award for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, The Here and Now, based on the poetry of Rumi; his Bassoon Concerto was nominated for a Grammy in 2017. His orchestral work, Rainbow Body, has been one of the most performed new orchestral works of the 21st century, having been performed by over 150 orchestras internationally.

Mr. Theofanidis has written a ballet for the American Ballet Theatre, a work for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as part of their ‘New Brandenburg’ series, and two operas for the San Francisco and Houston Grand Opera companies. Thomas Hampson sang the lead role in the San Francisco opera. His work for Houston, The Refuge, featured six sets of international non-Western musicians alongside the opera musicians. He has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony and Maestro Robert Spano, and has just had his concert length oratorio, Creation/Creator, recorded with them. That work will be featured at the SHIFT festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. next season with the ASO, chorus, and soloists. His new work, Dreamtime Ancestors, for the orchestral consortium, New Music for America, is being played by over fifty orchestras this and next season. He has served as a delegate to the US-Japan Foundation’s Leadership Program, and he is a former faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University as well as the Juilliard School. Mr. Theofanidis is currently a professor at Yale University.

For a downloadable schedule of Music of the 21st Century events (Feb. 27-Mar. 3), click here.