Christopher Dietz, composer
Christopher Dietz composes music inspired by a wide variety of sources, both real and conceptual. Poetry, sound as sculpture and color, how toddlers play, deep time and the cosmos, rhythm as geometry, religion and politics, animal behavior, and the music of others are a few of the subjects that have informed his musical imagination. A similarly diverse approach to the creation of each new piece has resulted in a collection of works distinct in their surface features yet bound together by a common vitality, nuanced palette, and a commitment to engaging with others.
In recent years, Christopher’s works have been premiered in Ghent (Belgium), London, Auvillar (France), Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Houston, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, among others. His music has been performed by numerous contemporary ensembles including Alarm Will Sound, Decoda, Ensemble Échappé, NODUS, The Orchestra of the League of Composers, Ogni Suono, Duo Scorpio, The McCormick Percussion Group, The Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, The Chicago Ensemble, Trio Kavak, Palomar, TACTUS Ensemble, Dark in the Song, The Color Field Ensemble, as well as traditional ensembles such as L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, The San Jose Chamber Orchestra, The Beau Soir Trio, The Orange County Symphony, The Toledo Symphony, the University of Michigan Symphonic Band and additional university ensembles across the United States.
His work has been featured at new music festivals such the Civic Orchestra of Chicago's New Music Workshop, NUNC!, soundSCAPE (Italy), The Etchings Festival of Contemporary Music (France), The Queens New Music Festival, New Music on the Point, Florida State's Biennial Festival, Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Tutti Festival of New Music and the MusicX Festival, among others.
Residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Copland House, Canada’s Banff Centre, The Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France) and the Blue Mountain Center have been important milestones in the development of Christopher's compositional voice. Recognition of his work has come from honors and awards including ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, The Minnesota Orchestra Reading Sessions and Composer Institute, The Riverside Symphony Composer Reading Project (NYC), The Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, Random Access Music, The Utah Arts Festival’s Orchestral Commission Prize as well as several academic awards, grants and scholarships. Christopher's music has been released on New Focus, AMP, Navona, American Modern, and Cambria Records.
Christopher holds a Ph.D. in composition and theory from the University of Michigan where he studied with William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Betsy Jolas, and Andrew Mead. In addition, he holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music where he worked with Nils Vigeland and Giampaolo Bracali and the University of Wisconsin where his teachers included Stephen Dembski and Joel Naumann. He has been on the faculty at Hillsdale College and the Oberlin Conservatory. Christopher is an associate professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio where he teaches composition and directs the new music ensemble.