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    Adam Greene     composer


Adam Greene

Adam Greene (b. 1970) is a composer and writer whose creative work references interests in literature, linguistics, and cognitive science in music that explores multiplicity, fragility, and instability, often through intensive examination of instrumental practice. He has received grants and awards from The Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard, ASCAP, NACUSA, The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), The American Music Center, and The American Composers Forum. His music has been played by the San Diego Symphony, SONOR, NOISE Ensemble, the Formalist Quartet, Speculum Musicae, and Ensemble Resonanz, and counts his work with several soloists as particularly critical in developing his approach to instrumental writing. He has participated in several festivals and residency programs that have featured his works, such as UCROSS, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the soundON Festival of Modern Music, the International Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt), the Composers Conference at Wellesley, the Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance (at the New England Conservatory of Music), and the Long Beach Summer Arts program. His compositions appear on recordings from Aucourant Records and Chen Li Music.

Originally trained in music as a guitarist, Greene pursued early studies in Anthropology and creative writing before committing himself to composition. He holds degrees in Music and Anthropology from Connecticut College, and earned a Master’s in Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. He then studied in Italy before moving to California, where, at UC San Diego, he received the Ph.D. Greene’s principal mentor in composition was Roger Reynolds, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning piece Whispers Out of Time made a strong impact on the young composer upon first hearing it in college. Greene took additional studies with Brian Ferneyhough, Arthur Berger, and Franco Donatoni, and he had important encounters with Ligeti, Carter, Martino, Babbitt, and Davidovsky. Greene has held faculty positions at The University of Minnesota School of Music and The University of San Diego and has taught private lessons for over 20 years.


Also active as a scholar, Greene’s research is oriented primarily toward contemporary music. His current focus is on the life and music of Cambodian-born composer Chinary Ung, whose work intersects with a host of complex issues regarding identity and aesthetics. Greene has also written and presented papers on compositional technique as well as music perception.

Born in Chicago and raised in New England, he now lives in San Diego with his wife, the artist Stacie Birky Greene.