Program Biography

WWinner of the coveted 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition and the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, AARON JAY KERNIS is among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation. With "fearless originality [and] powerful voice" (The New York Times), Kernis is one of today's most frequently performed composers. His music, full of variety and dynamic energy, is rich in lyric beauty, poetic imagery, and brilliant instrumental color.

His works appear prominently on orchestral, chamber, and recital programs world-wide and has been commissioned by many of America's foremost performers and institutions, including soprano Renee Fleming, violinists Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and James Ehnes (for the BBC Proms), pianist Christopher O'Riley and guitarist Sharon Isbin, the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, Seattle and San Francisco Symphonies, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Walt Disney Company, Rose Center for Earth and Space, and Ravinia Festival. Recent and upcoming commissions include works for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (for David Shifrin and the Orion Quartet), eighth blackbird, a cello concerto for rising star Joshua Roman, a viola concerto for Paul Neubauer, and his 3rd string quartet for the Jasper Quartet.

One of America's most honored composers, Mr. Kernis was recently inducted in to Classical Music Hall of Fame. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he has received countless awards and prizes throughout his career, including the 2011 Nemmers Award from Northwestern University. For ten years he was New Music Advisor to the Minnesota Orchestra and artistic director of that orchestra's Composer Institute for 15 years. He currently teaches composition at Yale School of Music, a position he's occupied since 2003.

His works have been recorded on numerous CDs, including labels such as Nonesuch, New Albion, Koch, Naxos, Argo, Dorian, Virgin Classics and Cedille. Upcoming on Naxos in 2014 is a CD featuring pianist Andrew Russo, violinist James Ehnes and the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller.

Kernis' music is published by AJK Music, administered by Associated Music Publishers/G.Schirmer, Inc. More information can be found at and