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Elliott Schwartz was born in 1936 in New York City and studied composition with Otto Luening and Jack Beeson at Columbia University. He held the Robert K. Beckwith Professor of Music at Bowdoin College, where he first taught in 1964.
Schwartz's music has been performed by such leading ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, ALEA III (Boston), Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New York Chamber Soloists, Atlanta Virtuosi, Tremont Quartet, Esbjerg Ensemble (Denmark), Lontano (UK), and Spectrum (UK).
Major festivals and new music series include the Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), "Music of the Americas" series (London), Berkshire Festival (Tanglewood), "Music in Our Time" (New York), De Ijsbreker (Amsterdam, Netherlands), the York and Bath Festivals (Britain), and European Music Week (UNESCO Centre, Paris).
Honors and awards include a Dutch Gaudeamus Prize, two Rockefeller Foundation residencies at Bellagio, Italy, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an NEA Consortium commission, and a McKim Fund commission from the Library of Congress.
Works such as
Equinox: Concerto for Orchestra
are masterful illustrations of Schwartz's nimble orchestration skills and his often richly colored canvases.