Christopher Cerrone (b. 1984) is internationally acclaimed for compositions characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a deep literary fluency, and a flair for multimedia collaborations. Balancing lushness and austerity, immersive textures and telling details, dramatic impact and interiority, Cerrone’s GRAMMY-nominated music is utterly compelling and uniquely his own.
In the 2019–20 season, Cerrone composes a new piano concerto, The Air Suspended, for pianist Shai Wosner, who gives the world premiere performances with the East Coast and Cayuga Chamber Orchestras, and the Phoenix and Albany Symphonies. In May 2020, the Northwestern University Chorus and Orchestra under the baton of Donald Nally will premiere The Last Message Received, a work jointly commissioned by Northwestern and the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Glee Club. And in June 2020, Sandbox Percussion and Conor Hanick premiere a new concerto for prepared piano and percussion quartet at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. Cerrone also composes two new short works for piano for Anthony DeMare (the Liaisons project, adapting the music of Stephen Sondheim) and David Kaplan (in a project that also commissions Anthony Cheung) and a new electroacoustic work for cellist Johannes Moser to be premiered at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This season will also feature performances of Cerrone’s music at the St. Louis Symphony’s “Live at the Pulitzer” series, the European premiere of Why Was I Born Between Mirrors? with Sentieri Selvaggi in both Venice and Milan, and a workshop performance of his new opera, In a Grove, with Metropolis Ensemble at Mass MoCA.
Recent highlights include The Insects Became Magnetic, an orchestral work with electronics for the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Meander, Spiral, Explode, a percussion quartet concerto co-commissioned by the Civic Orchestra of the Chicago Symphony and the Britt Festival; Breaks and Breaks, an acclaimed violin concerto for Jennifer Koh and the Detroit Symphony; a Miller Theatre Composer Portrait performed by Third Coast Percussion; Will There Be Singing, premiered by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Can’t and Won’t, commissioned for the Calder Quartet by the LA Phil, and new works for artists including Tim Munro, Eighth Blackbird, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Latitude 49, Vicky Chow, and Rachel Lee Priday.
Cerrone’s opera, Invisible Cities, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist, was praised by the Los Angeles Times as “A delicate and beautiful opera…[which] could be, and should be, done anywhere.” Invisible Cities received its fully-staged world premiere in a wildly popular production by The Industry, directed by Yuval Sharon, in Los Angeles’ Union Station. Both the film and opera are available as CDs, DVDs, and digital downloads. In July 2019, New Amsterdam Records released his GRAMMY-nominated sophomore effort, The Pieces that Fall to Earth, a collaboration with the LA-based chamber orchestra, Wild Up, to widespread acclaim. Cerrone is also the winner of the 2015-2016 Samuel Barber Rome Prize in Music Composition.
Christopher Cerrone holds degrees from the Yale School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He is published by Schott NY and Project Schott New York and is currently a guest composition faculty member at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University for 2019–2020. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner.