Judd Greenstein, classical music composer
Judd Greenstein was born and raised in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, where he began his compositional life by writing hip hop beats as a teenager. His concert works reflect those origins, as well as his traditional piano background, combining an urban, beat-oriented sensibility with a late Romantic classical harmonic language. A passionate advocate for the indie classical community in New York, much of Judd's work is written for the virtuosic ensembles and solo performers who make up that community, and is tailored to their specific talents and abilities.
Judd has attracted attention through his close collaboration with many of the best young solo musicians in New York and beyond, including violist Nadia Sirota (heard on 2009's first things first), soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, percussionist Samuel Solomon, violinist Colin Jacobsen, pianists Michael Mizrahi and Blair McMillan, and flutist Alex Sopp. He has also received performances by and commissions from a wide array of ensembles around the country, including Present Music, the Seattle Chamber Players, the University of Texas at Austin New Music Ensemble, and the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, as well as many prominent ensembles in New York, including Carnegie Hall, the Kaufman Center, Newspeak, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New Millennium Ensemble, the Knights, Sympho, and the New York Youth Symphony. Central to his output is his work for NOW Ensemble, the composer/performer collective that has quickly established itself as one of the most prominent and promising sounds in 21st century chamber music. Judd has written over an hour of music for the quintet, two pieces of which can be heard on 2008's NOW.
Judd's work has been heard at festivals such as the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Bang on a Can Marathon (both in New York and at Mass MoCA), MATA, the Carlsbad Music Festival, Wordless Music, Bumbershoot, Keys to the Future, Southern Exposure (Columbia, SC), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh), Icebreaker (Seattle), and the Look & Listen Festival. International performances of Judd's music have taken place at the Musiekgebouw in Amsterdam, Holland, by Guitar Quartet Catch; in Rome, by the Williams College Concert Choir; at the Tel Aviv Art Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel, by the Israel Contemporary String Quartet; and in the Kyiv Music Festival in the Ukraine, by the Seattle Chamber Players.
Current projects include a work for string quartet and analog synthesizers for the postclassical quartet, ETHEL; a work for violin, cello, and double bass, for Gibbs & Main; and two very large-scale, special projects: a "MicroCommission" from the Minnesota Orchestra, which relies on numerous "micro" donations from the orchestral audience to raise the commissioning fee for Judd to write a new, 30-minute work for the 2012 Spring season; and The Yehudim, a 14-person ensemble of voices, synthesizers, electric guitars, and percussion that will tell Hebrew Bible stories, beginning with the story of Shlomo (King Solomon). In support of this evening-length work, entitled Shlomo, Judd has recently been named a recipient of a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists.
In addition to his work as a composer, Judd is active as a promoter of new music in New York and around the country. He is the managing director of NOW Ensemble, and is co-director of New Amsterdam Records, the record label and artists' service organization that Newsweek writer Seth Colter Walls called "an upstart label that's been releasing one quality disc after another since its founding", and which New York magazine critic Justin Davidson placed "at the center" of New York's burgeoning indie classical scene. New Amsterdam has received positive media coverage from hundreds of outlets around the world, including NPR's All Things Considered, the New York Times, Pitchfork, and many more.
Judd has received degrees from Williams College and the Yale School of Music, has been a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music, and is completing his PhD dissertation on hip hop music at Princeton University.
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