Bio

Andrew McManus’ (b. 1985) orchestral work Strobe, premiered in June 2014 by the New York Philharmonic, was called “riveting” and “breathless…surging…hazy…sometimes all at once” by the New York Times. In May 2014 his opera Killing the Goat was premiered by eighth blackbird, the Pacifica Quartet and members of the Contempo Chamber Players at the University of Chicago. Based on the novel La Fiesta del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat) by Mario Vargas Llosa, the opera follows a Dominican woman as she confronts her decades-old traumatic memories of the Trujillo regime. In August 2014 the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble performed a chamber suite from the opera at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, CO. Opera figures prominently in his other works: in July 2015 Alarm Will Sound premiered embers, fused to ashan amalgamation of Wagner’s “Magic Fire Music” with an assortment of other fire-based images, at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. In 2013 Ancient Vigils, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This piano quintet is a restive, distorted tapestry of complex bell sonorities, Renaissance dance rhythms, faded religious imagery and viol consorts.  Ancient Vigils was also performed by the Spektral Quartet in May 2014.

His other orchestral works include Identity (2008), premiered at the 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and The Concerto of Deliverance (2010), read by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and premiered by the University of Oklahoma Symphony. He is also a creator of electronic music. His playback work Mesospherics (2013) weaves together a diverse collection of sounds that range from beautiful, vivid and scintillating to rough, unwieldy and cacophonous. Neurosonics I (2015), a collaboration with a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, creates similarly strange soundscapes using data from experiments that study the electrical patterns of rat neurons. In 2016 New Music USA funded a continuation of the project: a new work for the Spektral Quartet and electronic playback set for premiere in May 2017 in Chicago.

Other works have been performed at the Wellesley Composers Conference (2012), the Bowdoin International Music Festival (2013), and CULTIVATE (2015), a festival at the Aaron Copland House in New York. A native of Massachusetts, he holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he studied with Marta Ptaszynska, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas and Howard Sandroff. He also holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. He is currently an adjunct instructor at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

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works

  • dendrites [neurosonics 3b] for spatial sound. 18′
  • auras [neurosonics 3a] for clarinet, saxophone, percussion, violin, cello and piano. 8′
    • for Latitude 49, with support from the Aaron Copland House and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts
  • pathways, bursting [neurosonics 2], for string quartet and spatial sound, 21
    • for the Spektral Quartet, with support from New Music USA
  • the has-been to beachey, for mezzo-soprano, violin and cello, 2016.  6’
    • for Access Contemporary Music and the 2016 Ear Taxi Festival
  • atlas fractures for wind ensemble, 2016.  9’
    • consortium commission by the Bethel College Wind Ensemble and others
  • embers, relit for clarinet, violin and cello, 2015.  4’
    • for CULTIVATE and Musicians from Copland House
  • embers, fused to ash for large ensemble, 2015.   9’
    • for Alarm Will Sound and the Mizzou International Composers Festival
  • Neurosonics I for spatial sound, 2015.   7’
    • for the Arts | Science Initiative at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
  • moments from “Killing the Goat”, for chamber ensemble, 2014.  7’
    • for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble
  • Killing the Goat opera for 3 voices and chamber ensemble after Mario Vargas Llosa, 2014.  40’ 
    • for eighth blackbird, the Pacifica Quartet and the Contempo Chamber Players
  • Strobe for orchestra, 2013. 10’
  • Airborne Contraption for solo violin, 2013.   6’
  • Mesospherics for electronic playback, 2013.  10′
  • Flights for solo viola, 2012. 8’
  • The Sacred and the Profane for string quartet, 2010 (rev. 2012).  13’
    • for the Spektral Quartet
  • Ancient Vigils for piano quintet, 2012.  8’
    • for the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program
  • The Rarer Action for mezzo-soprano or baritone and chamber ensemble, 2012.  9’
  • Frescoes for flute, clarinet, violin and cello, 2012.  4’
    • for the Atlantic Music Festival
  • Warrior for flute, clarinet and percussion, 2012.  13’
    • for eighth blackbird
  • Three Tempest Airs for soprano and piano, 2011.   6’
  • The Concerto of Deliverance for orchestra, 2010.   11’
                   for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • The Generator for clarinet, viola and piano, 2010.  8‘
                  
    for eighth blackbird
  • The Face without Pain or Fear or Guilt for chamber ensemble, 2009.  8’
  • Orbits for viola and piano, 2009.  9’
  • Purpura Songs for baritone and chamber ensemble, 2008.  3’
                   for the Benson Forum on Creativity
  • Finnegan’s Logic for large ensemble and electronics, 2008-2009.  16‘
                  
    for the Eastman Composers Sinfonietta
  • The Immovable Movers, for chamber ensemble, 2008.  6’
  • Taibhse for electronic playback, 2008.  5’
  • Identity for orchestra, 2008.  10’
                   
    for the 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute

Bio

Andrew McManus’ (b. 1985) orchestral work Strobe, premiered in June 2014 by the New York Philharmonic, was called “riveting” and “breathless…surging…hazy…sometimes all at once” by the New York Times. In May 2014 his opera Killing the Goat was premiered by eighth blackbird, the Pacifica Quartet and members of the Contempo Chamber Players at the University of Chicago. Based on the novel La Fiesta del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat) by Mario Vargas Llosa, the opera follows a Dominican woman as she confronts her decades-old traumatic memories of the Trujillo regime. In August 2014 the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble performed a chamber suite from the opera at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, CO. Opera figures prominently in his other works: in July 2015 Alarm Will Sound premiered embers, fused to ashan amalgamation of Wagner’s “Magic Fire Music” with an assortment of other fire-based images, at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. In 2013 Ancient Vigils, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This piano quintet is a restive, distorted tapestry of complex bell sonorities, Renaissance dance rhythms, faded religious imagery and viol consorts.  Ancient Vigils was also performed by the Spektral Quartet in May 2014.

His other orchestral works include Identity (2008), premiered at the 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and The Concerto of Deliverance (2010), read by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and premiered by the University of Oklahoma Symphony. He is also a creator of electronic music. His playback work Mesospherics (2013) weaves together a diverse collection of sounds that range from beautiful, vivid and scintillating to rough, unwieldy and cacophonous. Neurosonics I (2015), a collaboration with a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, creates similarly strange soundscapes using data from experiments that study the electrical patterns of rat neurons. In 2016 New Music USA funded a continuation of the project: a new work for the Spektral Quartet and electronic playback set for premiere in May 2017 in Chicago.

Other works have been performed at the Wellesley Composers Conference (2012), the Bowdoin International Music Festival (2013), and CULTIVATE (2015), a festival at the Aaron Copland House in New York. A native of Massachusetts, he holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he studied with Marta Ptaszynska, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas and Howard Sandroff. He also holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. He is currently an adjunct instructor at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

download CV

Andrew_McManus-106_final_WM

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