Eric WhitacreOn Our Show: May 19, 2012
Birth Year: 1970
Origin: Reno, Nevada
About Eric Whitacre:
Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our time, a distinguished conductor, broadcaster, and public speaker. In 2001, he became the youngest recipient ever awarded the coveted Raymond C. Brock commission by the ACDA, despite coming to classical music relatively late in life when he joined his college choir in Las Vegas. The first piece he ever performed – Mozart’s Requiem – changed his life. Inspired to compose, his first piece Go, Lovely Rose, was completed at the age of 21. He went on to the Juilliard School (New York), earned his Master of Music degree studying with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning composer, John Corigliano.
His albums have topped the US and UK classical album charts and he won a Grammy award for Light & Gold. His latest album, Water Night, features seven world premiere recordings and includes performances from his professional choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, the London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitmann. His compositions also feature on multiple other recordings made in Europe, North America and Australasia.
Eric’s groundbreaking Virtual Choir, “Lux Aurumque,” brought together185 singers from 12 different countries in a unique online collaboration that has received over three million views on YouTube. Virtual Choir 2.0, “Sleep,” was released in April 2011 and involved over 2,000 voices from 58 countries. Virtual Choir 3, “Water Night,” received 3,746 videos from 73 counties.
He has written for the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Chanticleer, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Rundfunkchor and The King’s Singers among others. His musical, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, won both the ASCAP Harold Arlen award and the Richard Rodgers Award, and earned 10 nominations at the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards. He has also worked with legendary film composer, Hans Zimmer, co-writing the “Mermaid Theme” for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
His latest initiative, Soaring Leap, is a series of dynamic workshops for singers, instrumentalists, conductors and composers to read, rehearse and perform his works, digging deep into the poetry and exploring compositional tools.
Whitacre has received composition awards from the Barlow International Composition Competition, the ACDA and the American Composers Forum. He has addressed the U.N. Leaders programme and gave a TED Talk in March 2011. He is currently Composer-in-Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK.