Eric Nathan's (b. 1983) music has been called "as diverse as it is arresting" by the San Francisco Chronicle, “thoughtful and inventive” by The New Yorker and “engaging, from a voice we will hear more of” by The New York Times.
Nathan, a 2013 Rome Prize Fellow and 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, has garnered acclaim internationally through performances by Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Boston Musica Viva, JACK Quartet, American Brass Quintet, A Far Cry and performers including sopranos Dawn Upshaw, Lucy Shelton, Tony Arnold, violinist Jennifer Koh, trombonist Joseph Alessi, pianist Gloria Cheng, and violist Samuel Rhodes. His music has additionally been featured at the New York Philharmonic’s 2014 and 2016 Biennials, Carnegie Hall, Aldeburgh Music Festival, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, Aspen Music Festival, MATA Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, Yellow Barn, Music Academy of the West, 2012 and 2013 World Music Days, Domaine Forget and Louvre Museum.
Recent projects include two commissions from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including a chamber work for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and an orchestral work, "the space of a door," that was premiered by the BSO and conductor Andris Nelsons in November 2016. Nathan has received additional commissions from the New York Philharmonic for its CONTACT! series, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival for the American Brass Quintet, a trio for sopranos Dawn Upshaw, Lucy Shelton and Tony Arnold that premiered at a season opening concert at Merkin Hall, violinist Jennifer Koh for a solo work that premiered at the New York Philharmonic's 2016 Biennial, Boston Musica Viva, and the New York Virtuoso Singers. Nathan has additionally been honored with awards including a Copland House residency, ASCAP’s Rudolf Nissim Prize, four ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, BMI’s William Schuman Prize, Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Leonard Bernstein Fellowship from the Tanlgewood Music Center.
In 2015, Albany Records released a debut CD of Nathan’s solo and chamber music, “Multitude, Solitude: Eric Nathan,” produced by Grammy-winning producer Judith Sherman, featuring the Momenta Quartet, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violist Samuel Rhodes, oboist Peggy Pearson, pianist Mei Rui, and trumpeter Hugo Moreno. (Le) Poisson Rouge presented a CD release concert of Nathan's music in October 2015.
Nathan served as Composer-in-Residence at the 2013 Chelsea Music Festival (New York) and 2013 Chamber Music Campania (Italy). He received his doctorate from Cornell and holds degrees from Yale (B.A.) and Indiana University (M.M.). Nathan served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College in 2014-15, and is currently Assistant Professor of Music in Composition-Theory at the Brown University Department of Music. He has additionally taught composition as a guest faculty member at Yellow Barn's Young Artists Program in 2016.
Biography current as of 2/17.
ON NATHAN'S MUSIC
"Eric Nathan’s music, upon first encounter, conveys a compelling and infectious energy: virtuosity in the service of defining musical drama and character. [...] there’s often a thrilling hint of vicarious danger: it’s like watching an escape by a hair’s breadth, a daredevil feat. This music requires of its performers both the willingness and the ability to overcome its challenges in order to immerse the listener in its rich, multifaceted world. [...]
"Much has gone into the making of Nathan’s distinctive compositional voice. The tactile experience of performing, which involves the resolution of conflicts between notated and improvised music, between technique and expression, is the most direct source of this music’s vitality. The role of the dedicated performer in amplifying and potentially transforming a composed work factors significantly into his approach; with the demands of the music comes a willingness to trust a player to infuse a score with individuality. [...] Nathan also draws on personal, and cultural, experience, including visual art, for his inspiration. As part of his writing process he has recourse to arrays of photographs to catalyze new ideas—not in the sense of illustration, but as a way of focusing creative energy. The Italian sojourn during his Rome Prize year yielded musical responses to the ruins at Paestum, Rome’s multi-leveled archaeology, and other phenomena. The artistically satisfying weight of Nathan’s work comes from these complementary stimuli realized through compositional craft. It wouldn’t be outlandish, in fact, to suggest that in his well-balanced forms and clear, direct musical gestures, Eric Nathan is ultimately a classicist composer with such composers as Stravinsky and Schumann his ancestors."
- Robert Kirzinger
Composer; Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Director of Program Publications, Editorial
Liner notes to "Multitude, Solitude: Eric Nathan" (Albany Records)
Read full liner notes here