David W. Sanford, an associate professor of music at Mount Holyoke College, is a composer of works for a wide range of musical ensembles. He is the director of the Pittsburgh Collective, a contemporary big band that explores the varying intersections between modern classical and jazz, otherwise known as the “third stream.” His most recent work for the band, Reprise, is a concerto grosso featuring the new music group Speculum Musicae.
During the fellowship year, Sanford is writing [schwarzes rauschen] for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, conducted by Gil Rose. The work is a reconciliation of the composer’s interests in the visually intoxicating atmospheres of groundbreaking cinematography and more traditional linear polyphony. Other work includes the transcription and performance of “Three Worlds of Drums” (1978), by Charles Mingus and Jack Walrath, and research for a musical theater work with women’s voices.
Sanford’s honors include fellowships from the American Academy in Rome and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Chamber Music America, and the Fromm and Koussevitzky music foundations; and a Composer Portraits concert at Miller Theatre at Columbia University. His works have been performed by the Meridian Arts Ensemble, the cellist Matt Haimovitz, the jazz musicians Pheeroan akLaff, Steven Bernstein, George Garzone, Jon Irabagon, Bob Mintzer, Hugh Ragin, and Josh Roseman, and orchestras conducted by Marin Alsop and Kent Nagano. He has received degrees in music from the University of Northern Colorado, New England Conservatory, and Princeton University.