“An exciting composer of the new American generation” (New York Times), Sean Shepherd has quickly gained admiration and return engagements with major ensembles and performers across the US and Europe. He recently completed his tenure as the Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellow of the Cleveland Orchestra, culminating with the premiere of Tuolumne in April 2013, written for Franz Welser-Möst and the orchestra. Other recent performances include those with the New York Philharmonc, the National, BBC and New World symphony orchestras, at festivals in Aldeburgh, Heidelberg, La Jolla, Lucerne, Santa Fe, and Tanglewood, and with leading European ensembles including Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Conductor- champions include Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert and Welser-Möst; distinguished composer-conductors Oliver Knussen and George Benjamin; and young stars Pablo Heras-Casado, Susanna Mälkki and Matthias Pintscher.
Shepherd’s most recent orchestral work, Magiya, written for Carnegie Hall’s newly established National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, toured the US and Europe in summer 2013 in the orchestra’s first performances, with Gergiev. In March 2013, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble debuted his Quintet at various New York venues. He will compose another work (following the premiere of These Particular Circumstances, commissioned for the inaugural season of their new music series, CONTACT!, in 2010) for the New York Philharmonic and Gilbert, to be performed in June 2014 in recognition as the orchestra’s first Kravis Emerging Composer.
Other recent premieres include Blue Blazes, a Hechinger Commission from Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, performed in Washington, DC and on a South American tour; Blur for Ensemble Intercontemporain and Susanna Mälkki, in Paris and Cologne in 2012; Quartet for Oboe and Strings at the Santa Fe and La Jolla summer festivals in 2011; and Trio for the Claremont Trio, in celebration of the opening of Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 2012. Shepherd served from 2010 to 2012 as the first-ever Composer-in-Residence of his hometown orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic, where he composed two new works, Silvery Rills and Desert Garden, and engaged in a variety of community outreach and educational initiatives.
Shepherd’s (b.1979) education includes degrees in composition and bassoon performance from Indiana University, a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, and doctoral work at Cornell University with Roberto Sierra and Steven Stucky. He lives in New York and his music is published by Boosey & Hawkes.