Lewis Spratlan

For a list of Lewis’ Oxingale Music catalog, click here.

Lewis Spratlan, recipient of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in music and the 2016 Charles Ives Opera Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was born in 1940 in Miami, Florida. His music, often praised for its dramatic impact and vivid scoring, is performed regularly throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale University, where he studied with Mel Powell and Gunther Schuller. From 1970 until his retirement in 2006 he served on the music faculty of Amherst College, and has also taught and conducted at Penn State University, Tanglewood, and the Yale Summer School of Music.

Spratlan is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Composition, as well as Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Bogliasco, NEA, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and MacDowell Fellowships. He locates himself solidly in the mainstream of Western music, in the tradition of chant through Ligeti and beyond. He is also much influenced by jazz and South Indian music. Spratlan writes: “I consider myself free of any ideology beyond that contained by music itself – the laws of counterpoint, principles of movement, changes in density, register, and color. All of this provides a means to say something human, to make observations about oneself in the world and the world in oneself.” As to what to write, he follows the advice of an early instructor, “Above all, write what you want to hear.”

Producing new works at a prodigious rate, his recent commissions include the opera Earthrise, commissioned by San Francisco Opera; a piano quartet, Streaming, commissioned by the Ravinia Festival; Sojourner for ten players, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress; Shadow, commissioned by cellist Matt Haimovitz; Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, a consortium commission; A Summer’s Day, commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Shining: Double Concerto for Cello and Piano, commissioned by Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O’Riley; and Common Ground, commissioned by The Crossing Choir, among many others. Spratlan’s opera Life is a Dream received its world premiere by the Santa Fe Opera in 2010, under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, and was awarded the Charles Ives Opera Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in May 2016. His Horn Quartet, dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, was premiered in September 2013. Bangladesh, for solo piano, commissioned by Piano Spheres, was premiered in October 2015 at REDCAT/Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, by Nadia Shpachenko, followed by numerous subsequent performances. Charlottesville, Summer of 2017 (fl, cl, a sax, hn, vln, vc) was premiered at the Five College New Music Festival, September, 2019. Spratlan has recently completed his fourth opera, Midi, a black French-Caribbean Medea, ca. 1930.

Lewis Spratlan – Works

Catalog #Piece TitleInstrumentation, Duration
OM0456Invasion (2022)Piano, Alto Sax., Horn, Trombone, Mandolin, Percussion, 11′
OM0455Organ Fantasy (2022)Organ, 6′
OM0454Midi (2016)Opera in Two Acts, 86′
OM0453One for Two (2021)Solo Cello, 8′
OM0452Three Sonatas (2021)Solo Piano, 9′
OM0451Piano Suite No. 1 (2021)Solo Piano, 13′
OM0450Fantasia (2020)Piano, Four-Hands, 16′
OM0449Flute Suite (2021)Solo Flute, 17′
OM0448String Quartet No. 3 (2021)String Quartet, 22′
OM0447Piano Trio No. 1 (2020)Piano Trio, 19′
OM0446Vision (2020)Concerto for Solo Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra, 20′
OM0445Images (1971)For Soprano and Piano, X’
OM0444Clarinet Trio (2020)Clarinet, Cello, Piano, 8′
OM0443Fantasy Dances (2019)Violin, Piano, 13′
OM0442Five Bishop Songs (2020)SATB Chorus, Piano, 25′
OM0441Creatures (2020)Chorus SATB, Cello, Male voice, 25′
OM0440String Quartet No. 2 (2014)String Quartet, 25′
OM0439Piano Quartet No. 2 (2016)Piano Quartet, 14′
OM0438Six Preludes (2016)Solo Piano, 19′
OM0437Some Nebulae (2019)Two Flutes, Two Horns, Two Trumpets, Violin, Cello, Bass, 20′
OM0436Gaia (2018)Flute, Guitar, Cello, 15′
OM0435Six Rags (2018)Solo Piano, 17′
OM0434New England Concordance (2016)TTBB Choir and Piano, 9′
OM0433Chamber Symphony (2018)Chamber Orchestra, 27′
OM0432Charlottesville: Summer of 2017 (2017)Chamber Ensemble, 20′
OM0431Unspoken Words (2017)SATB Chorus, Trombone, 15′
OM0430Joy Song (2013)Solo Clarinet, 17′
OM0429Of War (2014)Mixed Chorus, SATB, Orchestra, 25′
OM0428Dreamworlds (2015)Piano, Four-Hands, 15′
OM0427Bangladesh (2015)Solo Piano, 14′
OM0423Horn Quartet (2013)French Horn, Violin, Cello, Piano, 15′
OM0422Shining (2012)Double Concerto for Cello, Piano and Orchestra, 27′
OM0421Vespers Cantata: Hesperus is Phosphorus (2011)SATB Choir, and 6 Instruments, 60′
OM0420Travels (2011)TTBB Choir and Piano four-hands, 9′
OM0415Process/Bulge (2011)Chamber Ensemble, 17′
OM0414Trio (2009)Clarinet, Violin, and Piano, 16′
OM0413A Summer’s Day (2008)For Orchestra, 16′
OM0412Four Songs for Soprano and Women’s Chorus (2008)SSA Women’s Chorus and Piano, 10′
OM0411Elephant Rocks (2008)SATB Choir, 17′
OM0410Shadow (2006)Solo Cello, 26′
OM0409Piccolosophy (2006)Piccolo and Piano, 13′
OM0408Wonderer (2005)Solo Piano, 20′
OM0407Mega-Ditty (2004)Percussion Duo, 9′
OM0406Streaming: Quartet for Piano and Strings (2004)Piano Quartet, 17′
OM0405The Manatees at Blue Springs (2004)SATB Choir and Piano, 15′
OM0404Zoom (2003)Chamber Orchestra, 16′
OM0403Earthrise (2002)An Opera in One Act, 50′
OM0402Dona Nobis Pacem (2001)Double Chorus (SSAA, SATB), Organ (optional), 6′
OM0401Of Time and the Seasons (2001)For Soprano and Chamber Ensemble, 27′
Works not listed or without a link may be in progress or preparation. Please contact us for more details.

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