Lansing D. McLoskey

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Lansing D. McLoskey (b.1964) came to the world of composition via a somewhat unorthodox route. The proverbial "Three B's" for him were not Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, but rather The Beatles, Bauhaus and Black Flag. His first experiences at writing music were not exercises in counterpoint, but as the guitarist and songwriter for punk rock bands in San Francisco in the early 1980's. It was actually through these years in the visceral world of punk that he first developed a love for classical music (but that's another story).


Described as a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear" by the American Composers Orchestra and "an engaging, gifted composer...writing smart, compelling and fascinating music with a bluesy edge and infectious punch" by Gramophone Magazine, McLoskey has had his music performed to critical acclaim across the U.S. and in twelve other countries on six continents. His music has an emotional intensity that appeals to academic and amateur alike, defying traditional stylistic pigeonholes.

Among his numerous national and international awards are the Omaha Symphony International New Music Competition (First Prize), the Kenneth Davenport National Competition for Orchestral Works (First Prize), Charles Ives Center Orchestral Composition Competition, Lee Ettelson Composers Award, the Paris New Music Review International Composition Competition (First Prize), the SCI/ASCAP 2000 National Student Composition Competition (First Prize), and Honorable Mention in the 2004 Swan Prize for Orchestral Works. He was awarded the distinguished Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2002 received an Astral Career Grant from The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. In 2004 he was appointed to the Board of Advisors of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.

McLoskey has received dozens of commissions and grants, including from Meet The Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Fromm Foundation (as part of a special grant to Composers in Red Sneakers), ASCAP, the Barlow Endowment, Music At The Anthology for The New Millennium Ensemble, violist Leticia Oaks Strong of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, King's Chapel (Boston), Tapestry, cellist Holly Reeves of the Anacapa Quartet, Mormon Artists Group for pianist Grant Johannesen, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and many others. McLoskey's music has been performed at nearly two dozen music festivals, including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival where he was one of the Composers-in-Residence. He received fellowships to the Wellesley Composers Conference and the Advanced Master Class at the Aspen Music School.

Recent performances include the premiere of The Madding Crowd at the Tanglewood Music Festival by Triton Brass, the premiere of two orchestral works by the Frost Symphony Orchestra at Festival Miami, a performance of OK-OK at the XVIII International Jazz Festival in Lima, Peru, a performance in Rome by The Freon Ensemble, a performance of Theft at the International Contemporary Art Festival in León, Mexico, and premieres in Boston, Chicago, Aspen, and New York.

Current projects include commissions from Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, the Melbourne Chamber Choir (Australia), and a Pew Charitable Trust Commission for The Crossing Choir (Philadelphia). Upcoming performances include the premiere of Sudden Music, a song cycle commissioned by MAG, by members of the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2009.


McLoskey completed a Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he directed The Harvard Group for New Music. He holds degrees with honors from UC Santa Barbara and the USC Thornton School of Music, with additional studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Music. His principle teachers were Mario Davidovsky, Stephen Hartke, and Bernard Rands. His book Twentieth Century Danish Music remains the only comprehensive research guide on the topic, and he was awarded the Haug Prize for Scandinavian Studies in recognition of his contributions to the field.

Prior to joining the faculty of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, McLoskey was a Lecturer at Harvard University and Visiting Faculty at Wellesley and Longy School of Music. He is Co-President of Composers in Red Sneakers, one of the oldest composer consortia in the country. His music is available on Albany, Wergo Schallplatten, Capstone, Tantara, and Beauport Classics. A monograph CD of his music - Sixth Species - was released to critical praise in 2008.

In addition to his compositional and research activities, McLoskey has been active in the field of early music. He was the founder and director of Clamores Antiqui (an early music vocal ensemble based in Los Angeles), co-founder of Musica Prospectus Insularum, and has directed numerous church choirs. He studied contemporary & Renaissance choral techniques with Bo Holten and the renowned Danish choir Ars Nova, and at the Amherst Early Music Festival. He was also a music critic for The Boston Early Music News. Most recently he was the Director of The Other Voices, an chamber choir at the University of Miami specializing in medieval, Renaissance, and post-WWII repertoire.

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