Composer and University Professor, University of California, San Diego, and Artist in Residence, University of California, Washington Center

Roger Reynolds’ compositions incorporate elements of theater, digital signal processing, dance, video, and real-time computer processing, in signature multidimensionality. The central thread through his career entwines language with musical space, and first emerged in his notorious music theater work, The Emperor of Ice Cream (1961-62). These concerns persisted in such works as the VOICESPACE series of quadraphonic tape compositions, Odyssey, (commissioned by Ircam and premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain, David Robertson, conductor), and JUSTICE (based upon a text from Aeschylus, and commissioned by the Library of Congress). Reynolds often works at the interface between high technology and art in such pieces as ILLUSION, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in cooperation with the Rockefeller and Kousevitzky foundations; 22, a collaboration with dancer Bill T. Jones, and the Arts Media and Engineering program at ASU, and Submerged Memories for Paul Dresher’s Electroacoustic Band with tenor John Dykers.

In addition to his composing, Reynolds's writing, lecturing, organization of musical events, and teaching have prompted numerous residencies at international festivals: Darmstadt, Music Today, the Helsinki Biennale, the Agora, Proms, and Edinburgh festivals among them. Reynolds’ published scores – he is exclusively represented by C.F. Peters Corporation – number nearly 100, and are supplemented by dozens of CD recordings, from Mode Records, the New World, Lovely, Wergo, Pogus, and Neuma labels. Reynolds has held visiting appointments at Yale, Harvard, the University of Illinois, the Sibelius Academy, Brooklyn College of CCNY, and Amherst College. He is University Professor, based at UCSD, and has recently inaugurated an Arts activism program at the University of California’s Washington Center. Commissioners have included the Library of Congress (which established a Special Collection of his work in 1998), the  Philadelphia, the National Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, the British Arts Council, the BBC Proms Festival, Suntory Hall, Radio France, the Guggenheim Museum, the NEA, the French Ministry of Culture, and the Fromm Foundation. Whispers Out of Time for string orchestra earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Reynolds’ writing – including the books Mind Models (1975, revised 2004), and Form and Method: Composing Music (2002) – has appeared widely in international journals such as Perspectives of New Music, The Musical Quarterly, Polyphone (Japan), MusikTexte (Germany), the Contemporary Music Review (London), Nature Magazine, and Music Perception. 

Current projects include two Books of  Etudes for piano (Commissioned by the Fromm Foundation), SEASONS (in collaboration with Alarm Will Sound, Alan Pierson, and Susan Narucki), and a multimedia work for 3 narrators and the National Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Ross Karre and Jaime Oliver. The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed has labeled Reynolds an “all-around sonic visionary”.  For further information visit or the Library of Congress.

Roger Reynolds
Roger Reynolds at Uxmal

Photo image credit: Karen Reynolds