Award-winning composer, Jonathan Graybill, is said to be a composer to “have big things ahead of him” (SCI Newsletter).

Jonathan Graybill is a versatile composer who garners his influences from the mountains, fields, rivers, and planes of North America. Infusing his musical language with the use of field recordings, history, forms in nature, and the legends and stories of the indigenous people of North America to his music.

Nightscape for string orchestra, was premièred by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra with subsequent performances by the Knox/Galesburg Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Butler Symphony Orchestra, and various university orchestras. The same work was released on CD with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016 and re-released in 2017. In recent years, the Kronos Quartet commissioned, Windows in Time, which was presented in the greater Washington, D.C. area; and his Viola Concerto was premiered by renowned violist Rose Armbrust Griffin with members of the Ball State University Orchestra; Moon Journal, for bass flute and percussion, has enjoyed several performances at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California, and the 28th New Music and Art Festival at Bowling Green State University, where he was a featured guest composer.

Graybill’s music has been gaining international recognition with performances by the Eastman Broadband Ensemble at Centre del Carme in Valencia, Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble, Cortona Sessions for New Music, Eastman Musica Nova, ImageMovementSound Festival in Rochester, NY, SCI and CMS Conferences, pLAy Ensemble, New York Miniaturist Ensemble, the Hammer and Nail Project, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Mid-West Composers Symposium, and the annual Festival of New Music at Ball State University.

Currently, Graybill is invested in an ongoing project, the Ancient Language of Birds, which consists of a series of works that pair a solo instrument with field recordings of the songs and calls of single avian species from North America – the pieces explore and extract hidden languages and meanings buried deep within these songs. The birds are connected with the myths and stories of Native Americans origin, exploring the cultural meanings and early names of these birds in each composition.

Graybill has earned degrees in composition from the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, and has taught music courses at several universities.


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— Claire C.

150 word version:

Jonathan Graybill is a composer who brings influences from the outdoors, field recordings, visual and cinematic arts, and legends of the indigenous people of North America to his music. His music has been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Recently, Ablaze Records released Nightscape for strings with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra – this work was premièred by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Other recent projects include a new work for the Kronos Quartet, and a new work for clarinetist Michael Norsworthy. Currently, Graybill is writing, the Ancient Language of Birds, which consists of a series of works that pair a solo instrument with field recordings of the songs of single avian species from North America - these works explore and extract hidden languages and meanings buried deep within the songs. The birds are connected with stories of Native Americans origin, exploring the cultural meanings and names of the birds. Visit: www.JonathanGraybill.com