Alvin Curran

Born 13 December 1938.


Alvin Curran (born December 13, 1938) is an American composer. He is also the co-founder, with Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum, of Musica Elettronica Viva, and a former student of Elliott Carter. Curran's music often makes use of electronics and environmental found sounds.

Curran was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a professor of music at Mills College in California until 2006 and now teaches privately in Rome, Italy, and sporadically at various institutions. His works include solo performance pieces such as Endangered Species, TransDadaExpress, and Shofar; radio works such as Crystal Psalms, Un Altro Ferragosto, I Dreamt John Cage Yodeling at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof, and Living Room Music; large scale musical choreographic works such as Oh Brass on the Grass Alas, for 300 amateur brass-band musicians, and the Maritime Rites series of performances on and near water; sound installation works such as Magic Carpet, Floor Plan, The Twentieth Century, and Gardening with John; chamber music such as For Cornelius for piano, the trio Schtyx, the string quartet VSTO, the saxophone quartet Electric Rags II, the percussion quartet THEME PARK, a series of works for chorus SATB, and the work for chamber orchestra and video Circus Maximus; and many collaborative dance and theater works. Since 1996, Curran has worked on a growing series of solo piano pieces entitled Inner Cities, which together form one of the longest non-repetitive piano pieces ever written. Daniela Tortora has edited a book about his work, Alvin Curran Live in Roma (Die Schachtel 2010).

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Links & Information


  • Founded Ananda

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Maritime Rites

    Maritime Rites 2004

    Reviewed by Peter Marsh
    The first time on CD for composer Curran's tribute to the sounds of the American coast.
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