Gregory W. Brown lives and works in Western Massachusetts. He holds degrees from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music (University of Georgia), Westminster Choir College, and Amherst College, where he studied with the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan. His recent commissions for vocal ensemble New York Polyphony have been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today, BBC Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, and Danish National Radio; his Missa Charles Darwin received its European debut in March 2013 at the Dinosaur Hall of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde. His works have been performed across the United States and Europe — most notably at Cadogan Hall in London, and at the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
In 2015, Brown released a CD of original choral and vocal works — Moonstrung Air — featuring performances by New York Polyphony, The Crossing, and an ad hoc group comprising some of New York City’s finest vocalists. The disc was Q2’s Album of the Week for Feb 16th: “[Brown’s] command of transcendent sound is constant” and Gapplegate Classical-Modern Review remarked: “The performances are exemplary, the sound excellent and the compositions show us that Gregory W. Brown takes to vocal writing as a natural. The music has eloquence, verve and old-in-new panache. I find the music uniformly delightful.”
In 2012 Brown created a new work for the Five College Choral Festival on a text by poet Richard Wilbur. The composer had the honor of conducting the premiere with a massed choir of 400 voices. Brown was named the 2015 winner of the Boston Choral Ensemble‘s Commission Competition. Other current and recent commissions include works for the The Crossing (2017), Seattle Bach Choir, Boston Choral Ensemble, Amherst College Concert Choir, Sanibel Community Chorus, soprano Mary Hubbell, contralto Kristine Gether, with two other major projects in the planning stages.
Though Brown’s writing largely focuses on works for the voice, he is also an active electro-acoustic musician, improvising noise-music both as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers, and visual artists. His hand-made electromagnetic preparations for piano are some of only very few in existence. Recent collaborations include music to accompany choreography by Paul Matteson and Chris Aiken, and a new project with cellist and fellow electro-acoustic musician, Vic Rawlings.
Moonstrung Air full CD of choral and vocal works: February 10, 2015
Nine Bagatelles for Guitar Trio on Emergence from Athens Guitar Trio
Fine Music, Vol. 5 includes the first movement from Missa Charles Darwin
Missa Charles Darwin digital EP on Navona
Christmas with The Manhattan Choral Ensemble includes my Vo girand per gli osterie and Entrai, pastores, entrai