Brief:

John Liberatore is a composer, pianist, and one of the world’s few glass harmonica players. Described by critics as “enchanting” and “truly magical” (Boston and New York Classical Review, respectively), his music seeks poignancy through levity, ambiguity through transparency, and complexity within simple textures.

Over the past several years, his music has received hundreds of performances in venues around the world. He has received fellowships from Tanglewood, the MacDowell Colony, the Brush Creek Arts Foundation, the I-Park Artist’s Enclave, and the Millay Colony. Other notable distinctions include commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation and the American Opera Initiative, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, the Brian Israel Prize, and a Presser Music Award. Funding from the Presser Foundation financed a ten-week residency in Tokyo in 2012 where he studied with Jo Kondo—a mentorship that made an indelible impression on his music. His current projects include a solo work for Grammy-winning flautist Molly Barth, an electroacoustic work for two pianos commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for Ensemble HereNowHear, and a work for Roomful of Teeth featuring the glass harmonica. As of January 2018, recordings of his works are available on Ravello, Innova, and Centaur record labels, with his debut portrait album scheduled for release on Albany Records later in 2018. He holds degrees from Eastman (PhD, MM) and Syracuse University (BM). In 2015, he was appointed an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Full:

John Liberatore is a composer, pianist, and one of the world’s few glass harmonica players. Described by critics as “enchanting” and “truly magical” (Boston and New York Classical Review, respectively), his music seeks poignancy through levity, ambiguity through transparency, and complexity within simple textures.

Over the past several years, his music has received hundreds of performances in venues around the world: The Kennedy Center, the Four Seasons Center of Toronto, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Seoul Arts Center, Sint-Germanuskirk in Belgium, the American Cultural Institute of Peru, the Hindemith Center, and many other venues across the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. Leading ensembles and soloists have performed his work, including Dinosaur Annex, the Mivos Quartet, Bent Frequency, Duo Damiana, Earplay, the Cleveland Contemporary Players, the Washington National Opera, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and The New York Virtuoso Singers.

He has received fellowships from Tanglewood, the MacDowell Colony, the Brush Creek Arts Foundation, the I-Park Artist’s Enclave, and the Millay Colony. Other notable distinctions include commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation and the American Opera Initiative, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, the Brian Israel Prize, and a Presser Music Award. Funding from the Presser Foundation financed a ten-week residency in Tokyo in 2012 where he studied with Jo Kondo—a mentorship that made an indelible impression on his music.

In 2015, Liberatore commissioned the glass blowers of G. Finkenbeiner Inc. for a new glass harmonica. With this acquisition, he became one of the few exponents of this rare instrument in contemporary music. Having spent the past year learning the idioms of this unusual instrument, he has appeared as a glass harmonicist at the PianoForte Foundation of Chicago, the Third Practice Festival in Richmond, and as a guest of the Concert Choir of Old Saint Patrick’s Chicago. As a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in March 2017, he wrote Had they remained, a 20-minute song cycle for soprano, percussion, and glass harmonica based on translations by Niloufar Talebi of contemporary Persian poetry. His first substantial work for the instrument, Liberatore will record the piece in February 2018 after a premiere with Jamie Jordan, and Daniel Druckman at Constellation’s Frequency Series in Chicago.

Liberatore is also active as a pianist, having performed at a number of national venues. Most recently, he appeared at the Tenri Cultural Institute, the New York Electroacoustic Music Festival, the N_SEME Conference in Philadelphia, the Composition in Asia International Symposium in Tampa, and the Howard Hanson residency of Jo Kondo at Eastman.

In 2014, he received his PhD from the Eastman School of Music, writing his dissertation on the aesthetics of Jo Kondo's piano work High Window. While there, he was actively engaged in the production of new music, serving as president of the Ossia New Music Ensemble during the 2010-11 concert season, and producing and supporting concerts through his affiliation with the Eastman Computer Music Center. He served as interim director of the ECMC during the 2012-13 academic year. He holds additional degrees from Syracuse University (B.M. summa cum laude), and Eastman (M.M.). In 2015, he was appointed assistant professor of theory and composition at the University of Notre Dame. A passionate educator, he taught previously at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Syracuse University, and Eastman.

His current projects include a solo work for Grammy-winning flautist Molly Barth, an electroacoustic work for two pianos commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for Ensemble HereNowHear, and a work for Roomful of Teeth featuring the glass harmonica. As of January 2018, recordings of his works are available on Ravello, Innova, and Centaur record labels, with his debut portrait album scheduled for release on Albany Records later in 2018. Theodore Front Musical Literature distributes many of his recent scores.