Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962) grew up in the Carolinas and Appalachian Ohio. Her love of music, language and challenging questions is reflected in her catalog of over 150 compositions in a wide variety of classical and vernacular styles. Her commissions have included music for orchestras, chamber ensembles, solo voices, and especially choral pieces, which have been performed by thousands of choruses worldwide.
Her theatrically-inclined works include the concert-length multi-genre song cycle "Nature Creature," as well as dozens of theater songs pretending to be art songs and choral pieces. Her current project, "Split Hickory," which is set in present day Appalachia, will be her first complete music theater work. Selections from this musical, which are inspired by country and folk music styles from the past hundred years, were recently workshopped at Nautilus Music-Theater's Rough Cuts (Minneapolis). A more indepth reading and workshop is scheduled for Fall 2022 at Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, Ohio).
Elizabeth's text settings of both original lyrics and the words of others prompted Choral Director Magazine to write that “her mastery of prosody and declamation results in a marriage between music and text that is dynamic and indelible.” Other reviewers have described her music as “brilliantly innovative” (New York Concert Review), “truly inspired” (Boston Intelligencer) and “stunning…exquisite…sculpting light into sound” (Kansas City Metropolis).
She has received grants, awards and fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, New Music USA, Minnesota State Arts Board, New York Council on the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, National Orchestral Association, International League of Women Composers and American Composers Forum.
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- Theatrical Composer (Music and Lyrics)