Wayne Horvitz is a composer, pianist and electronic musician who has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. He is the leader of the Gravitas Quartet, Sweeter Than the Day, Zony Mash, The Four plus One Ensemble and co-founder of the New York Composers Orchestra. He has performed and collaborated with Bill Frisell, Butch Morris, John Zorn, George Lewis, Robin Holcomb, Fred Frith, Julian Priester, Michael Shrieve and Carla Bley, among others. Commissioners include the NEA, Meet the Composer, Kronos String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, BAM, and Earshot Jazz.
Wayne has composed a song cycle for soprano voice, piano and electronics named Smokestack Arias in 2o02, commissioned by Jack Straw Productions through Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program, inspired by the 1916 labor uprising and resultant deaths, now known as the Everett Massacre. Each song assumes the perspective of a different woman affected by the uprising and the deaths of the slain protesters, giving a personal account of a seminal event in the history of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest. The text was written by Robin Holcomb.
Wayne has been the recipient of numerous awards including two MAP grants and the NEA American Masterpiece award. Recent compositions include The Heartsong of Charging Elk based on the novel by James Welch and 55: Music and Dance in Concrete: a site-specific collaboration with dancer Yukio Suzuki and video artist Yohei Saito. He is the music programmer for The Royal Room, a performance venue in Seattle, Washington, and a professor of composition at the Cornish College of the Arts.
Artist Support Program 2020: Recording of new compositions and improvisations for piano and amplified piano with electronic processing.
Composer in Residence 2012 : Composed Smokestrack Arias, a song cycle for soprano voice, piano and electronics, with lyrics by Robin Holcomb, through the national Meet the Composer program.