LJ White, faculty recital, composition

  • September 27, 2018 • 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM


A concert of contemporary music featuring saxophone, soprano, piano, and bassoon.

This program presents the music of LJ White, who joined Washington University’s composition faculty in 2017.  It features works that alternately evoke meditative serenity and propulsive energy, including new commissions for guest artists Ammie Brod, of the Chicago-based contemporary classical powerhouse Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Pushback Duo, comprised of the Canadian-British soprano Alexandra Smither and the Chicagoan bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward, who are building a repertoire for their instrumentation that challenges the socio-political status quo.  The concert will also feature several St. Louis area performers including Sunghee Hinners, Jane Price, Jeanine Garesche, Jennifer Gartley, Valentina Takova, Joel Vanderheyden, Christopher Bartz, and Cara Kizer.

LJ White’s music serves ideals of direct, focused and socially relevant expression, assimilating an unrestricted array of influences through strange and evocative sonorities and rhythms, concise and self-evident gestures, and apposite forms.  He has worked with some of the most exciting performers in new music, including Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble SIGNAL, Ensemble Dal Niente, the JACK Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Third Angle Ensemble, Third Coast Percussion, Volti, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, the Talea Ensemble, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

White’s string quartet, Zin zin zin zin, was included on the Spektral Quartet’s 2013 album CHAMBERS, released by Parlour Tapes+, and singled out for critical acclaim from the Chicago Reader, the New York Times, New Music Box, the Village Voice, and other publications.  The Quince Ensemble recently brought his extended song cycle for four voices with live electronic processing, The Best Place for This, to venues in New York, Boston, Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Louis in the 2017-18 season. White’s upcoming projects include new works for the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra conducted by Steven Schick, violist Ammie Brod, saxophonist Noa Even, the Spektral Quartet, and the Pushback Duo.

White has won the Craig and Janet Swan Prize, the Margaret Blackburn Composition Competition, an Emil and Ruth Beyer Award from the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composer Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance Composition Competition, and the American Prize, as well as grants from the American Composers Forum and Chamber Music America.  He has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Banff Arts Centre, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and his work has been featured at venues and festivals including the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, CULTIVATE at Copland House, the Ecstatic Music Festival, the Resonant Bodies Festival, REDCAT, and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College.

White lives in St. Louis and teaches composition and music theory at Washington University.