Bruce Saylor holds bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School where he was a student of Hugo Weisgall and Roger Sessions. He also studied with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He received his Ph.D. in 1978 from the City University of New York where he studied with George Perle and Felix Salzer.

Saylor's orchestral music has been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the San Francisco, Houston, and Nashville symphonies, and many regional orchestras. His chamber music has been heard at festivals and concert halls in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has written much music for dance as well as incidental music for numerous productions of Nine Circles Chamber Theater.

Saylor has written four operas, among them
Orpheus Descending set to a libretto by J.D. McClatchy after the play of Tennessee Williams. It was premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where Saylor was Lee and Brena Freeman Composer in Residence from 1992 to 1994. Juliana Rambaldi and Victor Benedetti, who created the principal roles, also premiered Saylor's The Scrimshaw Violin, with a libretto by Jonathan Levi. It was premiered in New York by Nine Circles Chamber Theater in 2002. His first opera, My Kinsman, Major Molineux, set to a libretto by Cary Plotkin after Hawthorne, was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Opera Festival in 1976, and was heard in a concert version presented by the New York City Opera in 2000. His theater piece When Samson Met Delilah is being recreated for multiple performances in January 2005 in Holland after its premiere in New York in 2003. He is at work setting The Image Maker, the famous verse play by James Merrill.

He has written five oratorios and numerous other large-scale choral pieces for occasions of state, among them Pope John Paul II's visit to New York in 1995, President Clinton's Second Inaugural in 1997, and Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold's Investiture at the National Cathedral in 2000. Three works for voice and orchestra have been commissioned by Incontri di Musica Sacra Contemporanea in Rome. He has composed the music and carol settings for two best-selling CDs of Jessye Norman, as well as arrangements of sacred music by Duke Ellington performed world-wide by Miss Norman. Five of his song cycles have been recorded by Constance Beavon.

His writings on music include many articles for the
Grove Dictionary, articles and reviews for various journals, and a monograph on Henry Cowell for the Institute for Studies in American Music.

Among his more than 40 awards in composition are the Guggenheim, Mellon, NEA, Fulbright fellowships, and major awards from the American Academy of Arts and letters, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. In 1992 he received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching at Queens College. Bruce Saylor is a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He lives in New York City with his wife the mezzo-soprano Constance Beavon and their four daughters.


BRUCE SAYLOR, composer

    Artistic Advisor