Bio

Born in Pasadena, California, Donald Crockett is dedicated to composing music inspired by the musicians who perform it.  He has received commissions from a great variety of artists and ensembles, including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Composer-in-Residence 1991-97), Kronos Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hilliard Ensemble, Guitar Foundation of America, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the San Francisco-based chamber choir, Volti, Pasadena Chamber Orchestra (Composer-in-Residence 1984-86), Charlotte Symphony, Music from Angel Fire, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference (Senior Composer-in-Residence 2002- present), Pacific Serenades and the California EAR Unit, among many others.   

Recent projects include commissions from the Dilijan Chamber Music Series and the Caramoor Festival for new string quartets, the Harvard Musical Association for violist Kate Vincent and Firebird Ensemble, the Claremont Trio, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and JFNMC for a new Viola Concerto, a chamber opera, ‘The Face,’ based on a novella in verse by poet David St. John, and a consortium commission from twenty-two college and university wind ensembles for his Dance Concerto for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Wind Ensemble.  His music has also been widely performed by ensembles including the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, eighth blackbird, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Collage, Xtet and the Arditti Quartet, at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Bennington and Piccolo Spoleto festivals, and by artists including violinists Ida Kavafian and Michelle Makarski, violist Kate Vincent, soprano Jane Sheldon, mezzo sopranos Janna Baty and Janice Felty, tenor Daniel Norman, baritone Thomas Meglioranza, oboist Allan Vogel, pianist Vicki Ray, and conductors Gil Rose, Jorge Mester, JoAnn Falletta, Hugh Wolff, Sergiu Comissiona, Jeffrey Kahane, H. Robert Reynolds and Christof Perick.  

The recipient in 2013 of an Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for outstanding artistic achievement, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, Donald Crockett has also received the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a commission from the Barlow Endowment, an Artist Fellowship from the California Arts Council, an Aaron Copland Award and the first Sylvia Goldstein Award from Copland House, a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, as well as grants and awards from BMI, the Bogliasco Foundation (Aaron Copland Fellowship, 2007), Composers Inc., Copland Fund, National Endowment for the Arts and New Music USA (Commissioning Music/USA, 1997).  His music is published by Keiser Classical and Doberman/Yppan, and recorded on the Albany, BMOP/Sound, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM, Innova, Laurel, New World, Orion and Pro Arte/Fanfare labels.  

Also active as a conductor of new music, Donald Crockett has presented many world, national and regional premieres with the Los Angeles-based new music ensemble Xtet, Thornton Edge new music ensemble, and as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Hilliard Ensemble, California EAR Unit, Firebird Ensemble, Ensemble X, Jacaranda and the USC Thornton Symphony, with whom he has premiered over 150 new orchestral works by USC Thornton student composers.  He has also been very active over the years as a composer and conductor with the venerable and famed Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and most recently the Jacaranda concert series in Santa Monica.  His recordings as a conductor can be found on the Albany, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM and New World labels.

After composition studies with American composers Robert Linn, Halsey Stevens and Edward Applebaum, and British composers Peter Racine Fricker and Humphrey Searle at the University of Southern California (BM Magna cum Laude 1974, MM 1976) and UC Santa Barbara (PhD 1981), he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in 1981.  He is currently Professor and Chair of the Composition Program, Director of Thornton Edge new music ensemble and Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at Thornton, and Senior Composer-in-Residence with the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. 

Short bio: 

Los Angeles-based composer and conductor Donald Crockett has received commissions from a wide spectrum of organizations including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Composer-in-Residence, 1991 – 97), Kronos Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hilliard Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Xtet, the San Francisco-based chamber chorus, Volti, the California EAR Unit, the Guitar Foundation of America, and the University of Southern California for its 125th anniversary, among many others.  Recent projects include an all-Crockett orchestral disc released in May, 2015 by Boston Modern Orchestra Project on BMOP/sound, commissions from the Harvard Musical Association for violist Kate Vincent and Firebird Ensemble, the Claremont Trio, 21st Century Consort, a chamber opera, The Face, based on a novella in verse by poet David St. John, a consortium commission from twenty-two college and university wind ensembles for his Dance Concerto for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, and commissions for new string quartets from the Dilijan Chamber Music Series in Los Angeles and the Caramoor Festival in New York.  The recipient in 2013 of an Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for outstanding artistic achievement, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, Donald Crockett has also received grants and prizes from the Barlow Endowment, Bogliasco Foundation, Copland Fund, Copland House, Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA and many others.  His music is published by Keiser Classical and Doberman/Yppan and recorded on the Albany, BMOP Sound, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM, Innova, Laurel, New World, Orion and Pro Arte/Fanfare labels.  A frequent guest conductor with new music ensembles nationally, Donald Crockett has been very active over the years as a composer and conductor with the venerable and famed Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and most recently the Jacaranda concert series in Santa Monica.  In 2017, he returns for his second season leading the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for three weeks at the Aspen Music Festival.  As conductor of the USC Thornton Symphony’s annual New Music for Orchestra series, Donald Crockett has premiered over 150 new orchestral works by outstanding Thornton student composers.  His recordings as a conductor can be found on the Albany, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM and New World labels. Deeply committed to education, Donald Crockett is Professor and Chair of the Composition Program, Director of Thornton Edge new music ensemble and Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the USC Thornton School of Music, as well as Senior Composer-in-Residence with the Bennington Chamber Music Conference.