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Alexandra Gardner

Baltimore, MD         

Praised as “highly lyrical and provocative of thought” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “mesmerizing” (The New York Times), and “pungently attractive” (The Washington Post), the music of composer Alexandra Gardner draws inspiration from sources including mythology, contemporary art forms, and her training as a percussionist. Composing for varied instrumentations and often mixing acoustic instruments with electronics, Gardner is building new audiences for contemporary music through an expressive sound and flair for the imaginative and unexpected.

Gardner’s compositions have been featured at festivals and venues throughout the world, including performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Warsaw Autumn Festival, MATA, Beijing Modern Festival, Centro de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Look & Listen, Conservatory of Amsterdam, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, The Library of Congress, Festival Cervantino, and The Kennedy Center. Her music has been commissioned and performed by acclaimed ensembles and musicians such as SOLI Chamber Ensemble, cellist Joshua Roman, Percussions de Barcelona, NOW Ensemble, pianist Jenny Lin, and The Seattle Chamber Players.

Recent performance highlights include the world premieres of Just Say Yes for the Seattle Symphony, conducted by Ludovic Morlot and featuring drummer Alan White from the band Yes on drum set, Banyan by the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and Ciphers and Constellations for string orchestra with electronics, commissioned by The String Orchestra of Brooklyn. During the summer of 2016 the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble took eight newly commissioned works including Gardner’s Vixen for mixed chamber ensemble on a tour of National Parks to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park System.

Gardner’s music has received honors and awards from organizations such as ASCAP, American Music Center, American Composers Forum, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Maryland State and District of Columbia Arts Councils, Meet The Composer, The Netherland-America Foundation, Open Meadows Foundation, the Prix Ton Bruynèl, and the Smithsonian Institution. She has conducted residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and The MacDowell Colony. She was awarded the 2002-03 Vassar College W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts, and from 2002-2004 she served as a visiting composer at the Institut Universitari de l’Audiovisual in Barcelona, Spain. Her music is recorded on the Innova, Ars Harmonica, and Naxos labels.

Gardner holds degrees from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and Vassar College. She currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

For more information, please visit www.alexandragardner.net.

Articles by Alexandra Gardner:

NewMusicBox March 1 2020 | By Alexandra Gardner
Viet Cuong: Game for Anything

Video Presentations and Photography by Alexandra Gardner Transcription by Julia Lu Composer Viet Cuong says that he is very impatient, but you’d never know it upon meeting him. His outward...

NewMusicBox January 1 2020 | By Alexandra Gardner
Bonnie Jones: The Sounds of Not Belonging

If you are attending an event in Baltimore that includes improvised electronic music, experimental theater, or multimedia installation, the chances are good that you will cross paths with sound artist...

NewMusicBox October 15 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Lainie Fefferman: Strength In Numbers

"I like things that are minimal, unexpectedly simple, and surprisingly powerful… In math and music I think it's really striking how you can take these tiny little ideas, and they...

NewMusicBox September 9 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Sounds Heard: No Lands—Negative Space

Negative Space is the first full length album of electronic musician/sound artist Michael Hammond's recording project No Lands; it features nine electronic works that combine song format and ambient soundscape—the...

NewMusicBox August 19 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Sounds Heard: J.C. Sanford Orchestra—Views From The Inside

Composer-trombonist-conductor JC Sanford's recent release Views From The Inside on Whirlwind Recordings delivers loads of aural surprises wrapped up in layers of jazz orchestra.

NewMusicBox August 12 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Sounds Heard: Jeffrey Mumford—through a stillness brightening

Jeffrey Mumford's recent 2-CD album through a stillness brightening features a selection of imaginative, skillfully executed solo and chamber works to fire up the ears.

NewMusicBox July 22 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Sounds Heard: Dan Becker—Fade

This selection of chamber works composed between 1993 and 2008 suggest that Becker has an "on/off" switch resulting in either intensely energetic music, or in work of concentrated repose. There...

NewMusicBox July 8 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Sounds Heard: John Adams—City Noir / Saxophone Concerto

John Adams's most recent album, released by Nonesuch, could essentially be seen as an exercise in nostalgia; City Noir, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is an homage to the...

NewMusicBox June 18 2014 | By Alexandra Gardner
Bora Yoon: The Weight of Magic

Although composers are always constructing new sonic worlds, Bora Yoon is super-charging that idea through her multimedia and site-specific works. Her performances create immersive environments that, as she puts it,...