Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer of operatic, orchestral, chamber, and electroacoustic music. His works have been described as “an unearthly collage of sounds”, “sharply-edged”, and “free jazz gone wrong”, commissioned and performed internationally by conductors and ensembles such as Brad Lubman, Alan Pierson, Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Marc Lowenstein, Alarm Will Sound (USA), Ensemble Interface (Germany), Ensemble Nikel (Israel), Ensemble Linea (France),Nonsemble 6 (USA), Iktus Percussion (USA), the [Switch~ Ensemble] (USA), The Industry, wild Up,OSSIA, ensemble39, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Fiati 5 (Italy), Sound ExChange Orchestra, the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, and TAD Wind Symphony (Japan), among others. Nominated for the 2015 Gaudeamus Prize, his works will be presented by Insomnio, Nadar Ensemble, and Slagwerk Den Haag at Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September 2015.
Scenes from his Multimedia Opera Hunger have received performances at the Darmstadt Contemporary Opera Workshop (2014) with Ensemble Interface, The Industry‘s FIRST TAKE Opera Workshop in Los Angeles (2015) with wild Up, and the MATA Interval 8 Series in New York City with the [Switch~ Ensemble] on a concert of new works for Ensemble & Multimedia curated by the composer. Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed writes: “Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s Hunger is a kind of training session in mental disintegrationÉ An ungodly opera needs ugly music, singers who produce primal sounds, an electric guitar that sounds scraped raw, a [sic] wailing orchestral effects, cuts the ear like a knife. Buchanan delivers.”
Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg (Germany) as a visiting scholar, he was recently selected as Artist-in-Residence by USF Verftet and the City Council of Bergen, Norway to complete work on Hunger in late 2015. Additional honors and awards include the ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2014) and the Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize (2014) for Asymptotic Flux: Second Study in Entropy (2013) commissioned by the Mizzou International Composers Festival for Alarm Will Sound, a commission from the International Horn Society forDouble Concerto (2014) with soloists Jeff Nelsen, Michael Walker, and the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman, antistasis (2014) for the Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel Aviv) withEnsemble Nikel, oggetti 1 (2014) as composer-in-residence for Chamber Music Campania (Italy), both winner of the newEar 4th Annual Composer’s Competition (2013) and selection at the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival (2014) for Asymptotic Flux: First Study in Entropy co-commissioned by the [Switch~ Ensemble] & OSSIA, and 2nd place in the American Prize orchestral composition competition (2012) for Berlin Songs, commissioned by the German/American Fulbright-Kommission and premiered at the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) during the European Fulbright Conference, and winner of the 2014 International Iron Composer 5-hour composition competition in Cleveland.
He has studied with Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Robert Morris, Allan Schindler, David Liptak, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Grossmann, Pablo Furman,Manfred Stahnke, Brad Lubman, Georges Aperghis, Brian Ferneyhough, Raphaël Cendo, Chaya Czernowin, Augusta Read Thomas, Hans Abrahamsen, Philippe Leroux, Clemens Gadenstätter, José María Sánchez-Verdú, and Pierluigi Billone, among others.
He is coordinator of the Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival’s Composition & Contemporary Music Program (Spain), and from 2007-2012 he served as founder and director ofMelos Music, a composer’s consortium and concert series that took place in Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. He has served as assistant conductor for Eastman’s Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman and Graduate Teaching Assistant/Course Instructor for the Eastman Computer Music Center, as well as a board member of Ossia and co-founder, conductor, and artistic director of the ECMC’s ensemble-in-residence, the [Switch~ Ensemble] as a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music. He holds degrees in Composition and Music Technology from San José State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught courses in composition and music theory (2008-2010), receiving the highest honors for excellence from both institutions.
Current projects include Hunger, a multimedia opera with libretto by award-winning poet Darcie Dennigan, a work for Andrew J. Allen (saxophone), electronics and video (World Saxophone Congress, Strasbourg, 2015), a work for Peter Ferry (percussion) and electronics (Chicago, 2016), a commission from the New York Virtuoso Singers (NYC, 2015), a commission from the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer 2014 (Cleveland, May 2015), and commission for Slagwerk Den Haag to be premiered at Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Netherlands, Sept. 2015).