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Eric Whitacre

January 2, 1970 -
born in Reno, Nevada, US, composed during the Contemporary period
Eric Whitacre is an American composer best known for his choral music. He has also written a large number of wind band compositions and some electronic music. In addition, he has composed works for orchestra and an opera, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. His style is quite approachable and features trademark chords (sevenths and ninths, sometimes heard against a background of sustained seconds and fourths), unexpected chord progressions, aleatoric elements, finger snapping by choral singers, and a host of other typically recognizable characteristics. His soundworld, though modern and quite individual, is invested with certain elements out of the past, however: his orchestral version of Water Night, originally written for chorus, carries echoes of Barber's famous Adagio for Strings, and some have compared Whitacre's style to that of Morten Lauridsen. That said, Whitacre is among the most original American voices of his time. His music is widely performed, especially in the U.S., and recordings of his music, particularly his choral works, are available on Hyperion, Clarion, Albany, and many other labels.

Eric Whitacre was born in Reno, NE, on January 2, 1970. Though he showed interest in music in his youth, playing in the Douglas High School Band in Minden, NE, he did not begin advanced music studies until he entered the University of Nevada, where his most important teacher was noted Ukrainian composer Virko Baley. Whitacre also studied choral conducting there with David Weiller.

Whitacre earned his master's degree at Juilliard, where he studied composition with David Diamond and John Corigliano. By the mid-'90s Whitacre's choral music was already drawing attention: his 1992 Cloudburst and 1995 Water Night, to date his most popular composition, were rapidly gaining currency. His first recordings appeared in the late '90s and by the turn-of-the-century, Whitacre, barely in his thirties, was internationally recognized as among the most important American composers. And it wasn't just his choral works that were drawing attention: at the 2004 Eric Whitacre Wind Symphony Festival was established in Australia by the Sydney Opera House. Other Whitacre festivals would appear in Venice and Florence, beginning in 2007.

In 2006 the British label Hyperion released a highly acclaimed collection of Whitacre choral music that included Water Night and Cloudburst. More recordings followed, while a parallel stream of performances took place in the concert hall. Whitacre's opera Paradise Lost was premiered in July 2007 in Pasadena, CA, at the Theatre at Boston Court. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Eric Whitacre: Cloudburst And Other Choral Works

Title: Songs Of Faith (3), For Chorus
Title: Flower Songs (3), For Chorus
Title: Sleep, For Chorus
Title: Songs Of Faith (3), For Chorus
Title: Flower Songs (3), For Chorus
Title: When David Heard, For Chorus
Title: Songs Of Faith (3), For Chorus
Title: Cloudburst, For Chorus, Handbells, Percussion & Piano
Title: Flower Songs (3), For Chorus
Title: This Marriage, For Chorus
Title: Water Night, For Chorus
Title: A Boy And A Girl, For Chorus
Title: Her Sacred Spirit Soars, For Chorus
Title: Lux Aurumque, For Chorus

Comments

Being in chamber choir and having to sing his pieces from time to time is a challenge, but when we execute it very well, it's an awarding feeling :D his music is just that beautiful.
I absolutely adore Eric and his compositions :)
lukecel
Of course, as noted in some of my other comments, Whitacre is one of my most favorite contempory composers. I must note that the BYU Singers is perhaps one of the very finest choirs to perform not only the Whitacre selections but virtually all other composers as well. It has been both facinating and inspirationa l to watch the growth of their incredibly talented director, Dr. Ron Stahlie, as he organized and began conducting this group around 1985. Over the 28 years under his direction he has
Love u eric!!
alexandraans l e y
This man is a musical genius. I performed Cloudburst, Water Night, Sleep, and multiple others in Carnegie Hall in NY with my highschool under his direction. It truly was empowering to be a part of his music. Surreal.
I have had the ability to perform for this man, He is an amazing choral diretor and an amazing composer. I love his music its very powerful. Thank you for writing such beautiful pieces
Wonderful music. Eric Whitacre has seen me through some very difficult times. Thank you!
Such an amazing talent. When I am really stressed or depressed, I simply put 'Sleep' on repeat and am transported to another state of mind.
What a talent
Who needs valium when you have this music? It's awesome.
Lovely
Dear Pandora,

Please edit. Eric was born in Reno, NV not Reno, NE---as in Nebraska. He also went to school at Douglas HS in Minden, NV. Again, not Nebraska. Thanks.
chazdt
So Very Awesome! Just watched the Virtual Choir video....tot a l l y amazing....a 25th century composer and thinker!
Pandora, if you could find his band works that would be amazing! Especially his wind ensemble song 'October.' Beautiful, and I'd love to be able to listen too it here.
The man is incredible!
Eric Whitacre and his wife Hila are wonderful people. I had the pleasure of citing the Spanish solo in Cloudburst, with him in the audience during practice for our concert at the University of Nevada under the direction of David Weiller. David Weiller has had a long standing tradition of singing a different version of "Go Lovely Rose" and Eric wrote a version for him during his time there. We also had the great pleasure of being conducted by Eric himself to sing his "Five Hebrew Love Songs".
My first exposure to Eric Whitacre was band music--fun to perform. But I love his choral music. It washes over you, can't be ignored.
He was born near Reno NV, (not NE) - I went to high school with him :)
info96351
Eric Whitacre is quite wonderful. I have never heard his music before.
kencampbells t u d i o s
Love when I discover new awesomeness.
We are singing sleep nox arumque and water night. I love eric whitacre. Btw check out the davidson chorale.org
I was introduced to Eric Whitacre's music through my singing in the Golden Gate Men's Chorus of San Francisco. His rich, ethereal styles and strong grasp of the human voice make his music chillingly beautiful.
His is some of my favorite music on the planet. There's something simply magical about the way he puts notes together that rings deep in a person's soul.
Haunting and sublimely beautiful, particularly "Sleep" and "Lux Aurumque".
I'm kind of a nerd, so as soon as I heard his choral music, it reminded me of the sound track from Halo. That and alot of other things. But that was the first thing that popped into my head.
hesper2:

I'm jealous.

What do you sing?

Robert
I sang in his State Honor Choir in the Minneapolis Vocalessence Eric Whitacre Extravaganza . What an experience, to get to work with the composer for four days, with such talented people, on such beautiful music! After spending so much time with the music, I feel like some kind of addict; I can't go more than a day or two without listening to one of his pieces, they are each spectacular in their own right.
luke.schlede r
I've meet the man when I was singing for Vocal Essence in Minneapolis, humble and extremely talented. What a wonderful combo!
Eric Whitacre is, without a doubt, one of my top 10 favorite (strictly) classical composers alive TODAY. Everything he writes is sublime, just sublime... I hold him in the very HIGHEST regard of all strictly classical composers alive today, one of a select few that I really, truly, COMPLETELY feel in awe of.
I was in the Navy when Eric was hatched.

I'm very, very mature.

Robert

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