David Rosenboom


David Rosenboom (b. 1947) is a multifaceted composer-performer (piano, violin-viola, conducting, electronic media, etc.), interdisciplinary artist, author, and educator known as a pioneer in American experimental music. During his long career, he has composed and performed many kinds of music; explored ideas about the spontaneous evolution of musical forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques in scoring for ensembles, multi-disciplinary composition and performance, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art and literature, interactive multi-media and new instrument technologies, generative algorithmic systems, art-science research and philosophy; and advanced musical interface with the human nervous system. A recent feature article in The Wire magazine about Rosenboom’s life and work begins, “Biofeedback, intelligence swarms, solar vibrations and generative opera are among the utopian possibilities proposed by US composer David Rosenboom during 50 years of navigating new frontiers of music and technology.” [Cowley, J. (2014). Sounding the Cosmos. The Wire, September 2014, 367, 26-33.]


David Rosenboom grew up on a small farm in west-central Illinois with parents who managed to find him high-level training in music beginning in the 1950s. His career started blossoming in the 1960s, particularly at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Salvatore Martirano, Lejaren Hiller, Kenneth Gaburo, Gordon Binkerd, Paul Rolland, Jack McKenzie, Soulima Stravinsky, and others (he returned there in 1995 for an artist residency as a George A. Miller visiting professor), the Center for Creative and Performing Arts in the State University of New York at Buffalo, and in New York as a freelance composer-performer, Artistic Coordinator of The Electric Circus, and other enterprises.


In the 1970s he was founding faculty and a professor in the Music Department at York University in Toronto, where the contemporary arts were flourishing. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1979, where he collaborated with Donald Buchla on electronic instrument design and joined the faculty at Mills College. He held the Darius Milhaud Chair at Mills, and was Professor of Music, Head of the Music Department, and Director of the Center for Contemporary Music. In 1990, he moved to California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles to become Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music, where he holds the Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music. He has also taught or held positions at Bard College, Simon Fraser University, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts, Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale, Ionian University in Greece, the China Conservatory of Music, and others.


Rosenboom’s work is regularly presented around the world. Recent highlights have included a 50-year retrospective performance series that opened a new venue at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2015); a six-month exhibition of his work with brainwave music at Centre Pompidou-Metz in France (2015-2016); a four-month exhibition of his work in computer music at Whitechapel Gallery in London (2015-2016); a retrospective of his music for piano at Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall (2016); the premiere of his Nothingness is Unstable on the New York Electronic Arts Festival at ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn (2017); presentation of The Right Measure of Opposites on ImproTech Paris-Philly 2017 by IRCAM and the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts; several world premieres in a concert called Battle Hymn for Insurgent Arts at REDCAT in Los Angeles in collaboration with filmmaker Lewis Klahr (2018); Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones (Deviant Resonances) featured by INA GRM at Le Centquatre-Paris (2018); a composer-pianist portrait concert at Center for Experiments at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (2018); and numerous other international festival events, publications, recordings, and keynote speeches. Following his retrospective at the Whitney Museum, he was lauded in The New York Times as an “avatar of experimental music.” Rosenboom is a Yamaha Artist.


Rosenboom has written, “To be in a constant state of evolution and understand its processes—this seems to be a consistent thematic thread that reveals itself winding throughout a great deal of my music. I love encountering forms that are dynamically emerging and providing opportunities for audiences to become immersed in them as well. Enfolding aesthetic, philosophical, and artistic notions inside unfolding, somewhat unpredictable processes, with both visceral and intellectual results, that’s part of the goal.”

photo Rafael Hernandez


Performers and Collaborators


David Castillo

David Castillo is a Los Angeles-based singer often seen and heard in major productions around LA with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Master Choral, LA Opera, The Industry, and others. He has also appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra, New Orleans Opera, in Off-Broadway productions, and in many more contexts.



Marja Liisa Kay

Marja Liisa Kay is a soprano dedicated to the performance and promotion of contemporary music, and who enjoys singing works of all genres. She has performed widely in major productions. She studied at Chapman University, the University of York, and California Institute of the Arts.



Amy Knoles

Amy Knoles has been a headliner on major festivals throughout the world for many years. She is a renowned percussionist-composer and a specialist in electronic percussion. She is a faculty member in the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, where she is an Associate Dean and holds the Larry Levine Chair in Contemporary Music.



Andrew McIntosh

Andrew McIntosh is a Los Angeles-based composer/violinist/violist/baroque violinist. He has a multifaceted career spanning solo, chamber, and early music engagements across the United States and in Europe. He currently teaches violin, viola, and composition in the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.



Gillian Rae Perry

Gillian Rae Perry is a skilled composer-performer currently pursuing graduate studies in the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. She has also studied in Paris with the European American Musical Alliance and at Southern Methodist University in Texas.



Linnea Powell

Linnea Powell enjoys a multifaceted career as a freelance violist in and around the Los Angeles area, performing regularly as an orchestral, chamber, and studio musician. An avid interpreter of new chamber music, Powell is a member of the Los Angeles new music collective Wild Up and recently founded Aperture Duo with violinist Adrianne Pope.



Sarah Belle Reid

Sarah Belle Reid is a Canadian performer-composer currently pursuing doctoral studies in the Herb Alpert School of Music at Calarts, where she also teaches. She specializes in trumpet and electronics, modular synthesis, and alternate forms of graphical notation for composition and improvisation. She is co-developer of the Minimally Invasive Gesture Sensing Interface (MIGSI) for trumpet.



Trichy Sankaran

Trichy Sankaran is a world-renowned percussion virtuoso, Indian music scholar, composer, and the founding director of Indian music studies at York University in Toronto, where he is now Emeritus Professor. His extensive career has taken him around the world, and his work is disseminated through a wide array of performances, publications, and recordings.



Andrew Tholl

Andrew Tholl is a Los Angeles-based violinist, composer, drummer, and improviser. He has been commissioned by various groundbreaking performing groups and performed in a wide array of international venues. He has taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara, California Institute of the Arts, and several other institutions.



Micaela Tobin

Micaela Tobin is a soprano, sound artist, and teacher based in Los Angeles, who specializes in contemporary opera and experimental voice, composing under the moniker “White Boy Scream.” She also currently teaches voice in the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.



Ashley Walters

Ashley Walters maintains a uniquely diverse career, performing music that blurs the boundaries between classical, avant-garde, and jazz. She is known for tackling virtuosic, demanding works and collaborating with composers. She has performed throughout the United States and on many international stages.



Erin Young

Erin Young is an active writer, literary agent, and freelance editor in the greater Los Angeles area. She was one of the writers who helped create the libretto for Hopscotch. She has been an editor for important literary magazines and has worked with numerous critically acclaimed authors.



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