Chris Rogerson


Appears on: Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue

Composer Chris Rogerson has been hailed as a “confident, fully grown composing talent” (The Washington Post) whose music has “virtuosic exuberance” and “haunting beauty” (The New York Times).  He has received commissions and performances from orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Houston Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony.  His collaborators in chamber music include the Attacca, Brentano, Dover, JACK, and Jasper Quartets, as well as violinist Ida Kavafian, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, clarinetists David Shifrin and Anthony McGill, and distinguished members of the Guarneri and Orion Quartets.  Most recently, he served as the 2014–16 Composer-in-Residence at the Amarillo Symphony.

This season, Rogerson serves as a composer-in-residence at the Lake George Music Festival and as artistic advisor at the Amarillo Symphony. His commissions include new works for Chamber Music Northwest, YCA alumnus Efe Baltacigil, the Oregon Symphony, and the Kansas City Symphony and the Attacca Quartet. His works are also being performed by the Sarasota Orchestra, the Pensacola Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

Mr. Rogerson has composed works for ensembles of varied sizes and configurations.  His recent orchestral commissions include “Among Mountains”, commissioned and premiered by the Oregon Symphony in  2016;  “Dolos Sielut/Ancient Souls”, commissioned and premiered by the Amarillo Symphony in 2017, “Four Autumn Landscapes”, commissioned and premiered by the Amarillo Symphony with soloist Anthony McGill; “Shadows Lengthen”, written for the Amarillo Symphony and the Manhattan Chamber Players”; “The Way Through,” commissioned and premiered by the Amarillo Symphony in 2014; “A Single Candle,” commissioned and premiered by the Kansas City Symphony in 2014; “Open Air”, commissioned and premiered by the Chicago Sinfonietta in 2013; “Our Game”, commissioned and premiered by the New World Symphony in 2012; “That Blue Repair”, for cello and orchestra, commissioned and premiered by the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall; and “Luminosity”, commissioned and premiered by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which the Bainbridge Island Review praised: “Chris’s work unleashes daring virtuosity with remarkable orchestral colors. He employs modest forces but maximizes the orchestra’s sound palette through unique uses of percussion, accompaniment figures and dynamic contrasts.”

Chamber commissions include “Constellations” for piano trio, commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest and premiered by David Shifrin, Yekwon Sunwoo, and Steven Tenenbom in 2015; “River Songs” for piano trio, commissioned by the Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival and performed by YCA alumni Ida Kavafian, Efe Baltacigil, and Anne Marie McDermott in 2015; “Nocturnal Prayer” for solo cello and orchestra, commissioned and premiered by the Buffalo State College Philharmonia Orchestra in 2015;  String Quartet No. 2, commissioned by the Buffalo Chamber Music Society and premiered by the Attacca Quartet in 2013; “Fishing” for narrator, clarinet, cello, and piano, commissioned and premiered by “Orchestra 2011”; and “Summer Night Music” for piano quartet, commissioned by and premiered at the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington in 2012.  Of “Summer Night Music,” The New York Times wrote, “From its captivating opening, the music seemed the manifestation of a confident new musical voice.”

Mr. Rogerson’s music has also been performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Rogue Valley Symphony, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the VERGE ensemble, the Prism Saxophone Quartet, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, and the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble.  He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, and the Copland House.  As the 2010-12 Young Concert Artists Composer-in-Residence, two works were commissioned by YCA and premiered in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York and at the Kennedy Center. 

Recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Mr. Rogerson has also won the BMI Student Composer Awards, the New York Art Ensemble Composition Competition, the Presser Music Award, the Morton Gould Young Composer Award from ASCAP, and has prizes from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, the National Association for Music Education, and “counter)induction,” a composer/performer collective.  He was a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony; the Aspen Music Festival, where he won the Jacob Druckman Award; Yale School of Music's Norfolk New Music Workshop; the Young Composer-in-Residence at the Music from Angel Fire Festival; and was a guest composer at the Vivace String Camp and the Chautauqua Institute.  He is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Kettle Corn New Music, a concert series of contemporary and classical music.

Born in Amherst, New York, Mr. Rogerson started playing the piano at the age of two and the cello at eight.  He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, and Princeton University with Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, and Steve Mackey.  Mr. Rogerson has participated in composition master classes with John Corigliano, Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Tilson Thomas, William Bolcom, Krystof Penderecki, and Christopher Theofanidis. Mr. Rogerson currently serves on the Musical Studies Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music.