Biography

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photo credit: Owen Richards (c) 2012

Aaron Cassidy (b. Illinois, USA, 1976) is a composer and conductor with a growing international reputation. His work has been programmed by leading contemporary music specialists including ELISION, Ensemble SurPlus, musikFabrik, Ictus Ensemble, ensemble recherche, 175 East, Talea Ensemble, the Kairos, Diotima, and JACK string quartets, and soloists including Garth Knox, Ian Pace, Mieko Kanno, and Christopher Redgate, at festivals including Donaueschingen, Ultraschall, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, Gaudeamus (Jurors Prize nominee, 2002 & 2004), Bludenz, June In Buffalo, and the ISCM World Music Days, and has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3, Radio France, Deutschlandradio Kultur, SWR-2, Kulturradio rbb, Österreichischer Rundfunk, and Polish National Radio. In July 2008, ELISION presented a portrait concert of his work for broadcast on ABC Classic FM, and in 2009-10 the ensemble completed an extensive recording project of his work in conjunction with Radio Bremen. He has received grants, stipends, and commissions from Südwestrundfunk, allerArt Bludenz, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, Haupstadtkulturfonds Berlin, New York Foundation for the Arts, ASCAP, the American Music Center, Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Council, and PRSF 20×12/London Cultural Olympiad 2012.  Recordings of his work are available on the NEOS, NMC, and HCR labels.

Also active as a conductor, Cassidy has led performances by student and professional ensembles in a diverse range of contemporary repertoire. He has conducted at the June in Buffalo festival and in a variety of university settings, currently serving as conductor of the New Music Ensemble and the Symphony Orchestra at the University of Huddersfield. In 2009, he participated in the Herrenhaus Edenkoben Mastercourse with Peter Eötvös and Zsolt Nagy, conducting the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) in a radio broadcast for SWR-2, and in 2010 he conducted the ICE reading sessions at Darmstadt.

As an author his contributions include chapters in the first, second, and sixth volumes of Wolke Verlag’s New Music and Aesthetics in the 21st Century series. Additionally, he has been increasingly active as a CD producer, most notably with EXAUDI’s critically-acclaimed recent releases of Finnissy, Fox, and Skempton on NMC and Mode and ELISION’s recent Ferneyhough disc on Kairos.

In 2003, he completed a Ph.D. in Composition as a Presidential Fellowship recipient at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) under the guidance of David Felder, where he was awarded a Dissertation Fellowship for advanced research. He has studied additionally in masterclass and lesson settings with such composers as Richard Barrett, Chaya Czernowin, Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, Alvin Lucier, and Tristan Murail, among numerous others.

Cassidy joined the staff of the University of Huddersfield in 2007 and currently serves as Reader in Composition, Coordinator of the MA by Research, and part of the Directorate of the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM). He previously served as Lecturer of Composition and Co-Director of New Music Northwestern at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Buffalo State College.