Tamar Diesendruck writes virtuosic chamber music, including orchestral, choral, wind ensemble, and vocal works. Her music is often characterized as having a wide range of expression. Her works from the 1990s found common ground between disparate musical cultures, but more recent works avoid references: passages of guided freedom for players are incorporated to produce complex webs and networks of sound. Fashioned from layered fragments of intense individual “utterances” performed simultaneously or bunches of small gestures that resemble each other, varied musical spaces emerge, lines branch and wander, eddies and currents form.
Commissioned by a consortium of ensembles, Diesendruck’s fellowship project, “Variant Scenarios,” will be scored for orchestral winds and percussion. Inspired by the processes of evolutionary biology, the idea of a collection of organisms, populations, and developmental scenarios comes out of a long-standing fascination with creating music of extreme variation from the same “DNA” and an interest in incorporating the multiple versions of compositional elements that emerge in the compositional process.
Diesendruck’s works have been performed by ensembles and soloists in Asia and the Middle East and throughout Europe and the United States. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize, commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and three awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She earned her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and her BA from Brandeis University.