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Patrick Zimmerli

New York, NY   

Patrick Zimmerli

“Irresistible energy seemed to come from everywhere: classical forms, jazz harmonies, and Arvo Pärt-like meditativeness, were all on tap, and the last bars were pure Romanticism.” —The New York Times

Patrick Zimmerli is a New York- and Paris-based composer and saxophonist. His latest CD, Sun on Sand, with Joshua Redman and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, was released on Nonesuch Recordings in October, 2019. This marks his second collaboration with Nonesuch, following Modern Music, his two-piano CD featuring Kevin Hays and Brad Mehldau.

Other collaborators across the jazz, classical, choral and new music spectrum include Luciana Souza, the Knights Orchestra, the Escher String Quartet, the Paris Percussion Group, Mikrokosmos, and French pianist Thomas Enhco.

Over a nearly 30-year career Zimmerli has written numerous orchestral, chamber and choral works, including two four-movement Piano Trios for the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and two four-movement Piano Concertos with jazz percussion, for Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra with pianists Ethan Iverson and Sonia Rubinsky.

Specializing in large-scale projects, he has written many evening-length works, including Clockworks, a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant for jazz quartet, premiered at (le) Poisson Rouge and released as a CD in 2018. In 2017 he wrote Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny, an oratorio for male choir, operatic tenor, jazz percussion and piano on the work of Alan Seeger, premiered at the storied Invalides in Paris; it was reprised in Reims and at the Fondation Boghossian in Brussels, with a New York premiere at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in November, 2019. In 2016 he created a site-specific piece entitled Waterfall/Gathering Pools for the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Paris Percussion Group. 

Upcoming projects include a major composition for Chicago-based ensembles across the jazz, classical, new music, choral, and vocal spectrums called Views of Chicago; a second commission from the Seattle Commissioning Club for Messages, an evening lenght work for jazz/classical piano, saxophone quartet, bass and percussion (premiere December 2019); and a Concerto for Flute, Jazz Percussion, and String Orchestra for Jasmine Choi, Satoshi Takeishi and the New York Classical Players. From 2016-17 Zimmerli curated the INTERSECT festival in Bryant Park in Manhattan, and is developing a series called Now and Then juxtaposing old and new music for National Sawdust and WNET.

Zimmerli’s music has been performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Sala São Paolo in Brazil, the Vienna Konzerthaus Grosser Saal and the SF Jazz Center. It has been featured in MoMA’s Summergarden series, at the Guggenheim Museum, on NPR and at the Jazz Composers’ Collective, and has been recorded on the Naxos, Nonesuch (Warner), Blue Note, Arabesque, Antilles, Songlines, Jazz City, Nouvelle and Naïve labels.

Articles by Patrick Zimmerli:

NewMusicBox December 22 2016 | By Patrick Zimmerli
Interviewing the Interviewer: A Conversation with Ethan Iverson

If you didn't know it already, you'll see that Ethan Iverson has an extremely interesting and idiosyncratic take on new music based on years of serious study and experience from which...

NewMusicBox December 15 2016 | By Patrick Zimmerli
Jazz and Classical—Musical, Cultural, Listening Differences

Early next year a CD will be released featuring my compositions on Nonesuch Records. I’m very excited about the recording, which features Joshua Redman, one of today’s greatest working jazz...

NewMusicBox December 8 2016 | By Patrick Zimmerli
A Composition Competition and the Quest for Standard Repertoire

Is music meant to be ephemeral or enduring? And indeed, are those two goals consonant with one another, or at odds?

NewMusicBox November 30 2016 | By Patrick Zimmerli
In Defense of Jazz

Jazz, once revered as America’s classical music, has come in for a beating lately at the hands of popular culture. How did it go from such an august status to...

NewMusicBox November 10 2016 | By Patrick Zimmerli
Time Is Flat

I’m very proud of my new CD, released last Friday, which features some of the finest musicians working in the jazz field today. The catch? The music was recorded on...

NewMusicBox August 17 2016 | By Patrick Zimmerli
Concerts in the Park and Modes of Listening to New Music

New music has been as much about challenging modes of listening and perception as anything else. What is most wonderful to me about the park experience was that all modes...