Originally from Cazenovia, NY, Chris Cresswell (b. 1988) is a composer, sound artist, guitarist, educator, songwriter, and new music advocate who has received commissions and performances from artists across the United States. Praised for his idiosyncratic sense of sonority, Cresswell’s music frequently explores the timbral possibilities of acoustic, electro-acoustic, and electronic only sonic worlds while still retaining an emotional core that is central to his expression. He has received awards and commissions from the American Composers Forum, the Jerome Foundation for New Music, the National Band Association, Wild Rumpus New Music Collective, the Renee Crown Honors Program, the Setnor School of Music, Sar Shalom Strong, and the Society for New Music, his music has been presented by Kathleen Supove’s Music with a ViewFestival, Hot Air Music Festival (SF), Rhymes with Opera, ETHOS Society, the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble, among others, with performances at Syracuse University, Hamilton College, San Francisco Conservatory, The Firehouse Space, The National Opera Center, the Tenri Cultural Institute, The Flea Theater, MoMA, and the Kennedy Center. He has been featured several times on WCNY-FM including the inauguration of their new concert venue.
The 2014-2015 season is shaping up to be another exciting year for Cresswell. This summer saw the premiere of the memory evokes, forget what time by Sarah Bobrow and Sar-Shalom Strong and the completion of an artist residency at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park where he finished his sound installation, I was walking home…or at least I thought I was walking home…. His first film score, Dorian Green, received its world premiere at The Delancey in Manhattan in September 2014 and has been selected for the San Jose International Short Film Festival and Coney Island Film Festival. Three Nocturnes was selected by James Gibson as part of his World Oceans Music Spring 2015 tour. He is also finishing up a new work,Some Faraway Outpost for the Steve Weiss Percussion Group and a piece for trombone and electronics. Future projects are planned with Holly Roadfeldt, Rachel Blaustein, and the Wild Rumpus New Music Collective.
In addition to his artistic experience, Cresswell has worked as an arts advocate and educator. While at Syracuse University he was co-founder and artistic director for Cantus Novus, which put on a regular concert series of student works. From 2011 to 2014 he was a member of the promotion team at Boosey & Hawkes, regularly working with today’s leading composers and arts organizations. He was a teaching assistant at Syracuse University, developing curriculum for courses that explored contemporary music with non-musicians and has been an instructor with the Society for New Music, where he also serves on the Board of Representatives. In 2013 he taught masterclasses at Lafayette College and Syracuse University, the latter with Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Stephen Dunn. In June 2014 he worked with Music Ascension to launch a new summer music program at Lake of the Woods and Greenwoods family of camps, where he served as a teaching artist and the recording studio director. The first year of the program saw camper-lead creation of nearly 50 songs, the release of their first CD, My Second Home, and performances throughout the summer.
Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition, Cresswell has studied with Donald Bohlen, James O. Welsch, Andrew Waggoner, Gregory Mertl, Nicolas Scherzinger, and Zibuokle Martinaityte. In addition to composition, he has studied tuba with Raymond Stewart, Michael Coldren, and William Harris, conducting with James O. Welsch, and classical guitar with Kenneth Meyer. He currently lives in Cazenovia, NY.
Articles by Christopher Cresswell:
While campers experienced hiccups along the way, there was none of the insecurities, impostor syndrome, or existential angst that impairs so many young composers, including myself.
When working with campers, I had to learn to move beyond my own personal choices in order to honor the individuality of their creative and musical interests.
I was able to draw parallels between the staves in my score and the tracks in a ProTools session. By looking past our preconceived notions of musical genres, we were...
I’d worked as a teaching assistant in college and had taught composition for a couple of summers, but this was the first time I’d encountered the label “teaching artist,” let...