The music of Clint Needham has been described as “wildly entertaining” and “stunning… brilliantly orchestrated” by The New York Times, as well as “well-crafted and arresting…riveting” by the Herald Times. Needham recently served as the Music Alive: New Partnerships Composer-in-Residence with the Albany Symphony where his work “Everyday Life” was premiered, and was the Andrew W. Mellon Composer/Educator-in-Residence during the orchestra’s 2014/2015 season.
Needham’s orchestral music has been commissioned and performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Omaha Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, and Symphony in C, among others. Various chamber groups including Alarm Will Sound, the American Brass Quintet, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the Chicago Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, Fifth House Ensemble, Hawthorne String Quartet, New York Classical Players, Dinosaur Annex, President’s Own Marine Band Brass Quintet, Camerata Aberta, Quintet Attacca, and the Stanford Wind Quintet have given performances of his chamber music across the country, as well as in Europe, Brazil, Japan, and Australia.
Upcoming performances of his work include those given by the Albany Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony in collaboration with Verb Ballets, Grand Rapids Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, Iowa State University Orchestra, Da Capo Chamber Players, Space Coast Symphony, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Wind Ensemble, the Choral Arts Initiative, Factory Seconds Brass Trio, and Imani Winds.
Needham’s music has been recognized with numerous awards including the International Barlow Prize, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440 Commission, Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, the William Schuman Prize/BMI Student Composer Award, the Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, First Prize in the International Ticheli Composition Contest, the Heckscher Prize from Ithaca College, a Lee Ettelson Composer Award and the coveted Underwood New Music Commission from the American Composers Orchestra. Clint is also the recipient of a 2014 Cleveland Creative Workforce Fellowship with funding from the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
As an educator, Needham currently serves as Composer-in-Residence/Assistant Professor of Music at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. He has served as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as well as Assistant Professor of Music at Ohio Wesleyan University. He holds degrees from Indiana University, where he was a four-year Jacobs School of Music doctoral fellow in composition, and from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers include Claude Baker, Loris Chobanian, David Dzubay, Michael Gandolfi, Per Mårtensson, Sven- David Sandström, and Richard Wernick. He has also studied with Robert Beaser, Syd Hodkinson, Christopher Rouse, and George Tsontakis at the Aspen Music Festival as a Susan and Ford Schumann composition fellow and with Mario Davidovsky at the Wellesley Composers Conference as a composition fellow.
Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation Solo Viola Music 9:00 Viola Unaccompanied Chamber Ensemble Abstract Mosaics 1030 Brass Quintet AxiomsFor Ensemble 10:00 Chamber Ensemble Brass Quintet No. 1Circus 10:00 Brass Quintet Five MovementsFor Wind Quintet 7:00 Woodwind Quintet String Quartet No. 1‘Shades Of Green’ 17:00 String Quartet Orchestra Above the Tree Line 12:00 1 1 1 1 – 1 0 0 0; Perc. Hp. Pno. Str. the Body Electricfor Chamber Orchestra 9:00 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 1(dbl.B.Cl.) 1 – 1 1 1 0; 2Perc. Pno. Str.(4 2 2 2 1) the Body Electricfor Orchestra 9:00 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2(dbl.B.Cl.) 2 – 2 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp. 2Perc. Hp. Pno. Str. Chamber Symphony 21:00 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 2(dbl.E-Flat Cl., dbl.B.Cl.) 1 – 1 1 1 1; 3Perc. Pno./Cel. Hp. Str. Driving Musicfor String Orchestra 11:00 Str. Earth and Greenfor Orchestra 13:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str. Everyday Lifefor Orchestra 9:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str. FlourishesFull Orchestra Version 4:00 3(Picc.) 2 2(2 dbl. B.Cl.) 2 – 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 1Perc. Str. FlourishesSmall Orchestra Version 4:00 2(2 dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp.(dbl. sus.cym., tri.) Str. Inside & Out 8:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str. Legaciesfor Orchestra 6:30 3 2 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Str. Radiant Nationfor Orchestra 6:30 2(2nd dbl. Picc.) 2 2(E-flat Cl., B.Cl.) 2 – 2 2 2 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str. Sounds of Akron: City Meets Symphonyfor Orchestra Southern Air 9:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str. Suburban Groovesfor Orchestra 7:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Str. Urban Sprawlfor Chamber Orchestra 6:30 1(dbl. Picc.) 1(dbl. E.H.) 2(EbCl.; BbCl. dbl. B.Cl.) 1 – 1 1 1 0; Perc. Drum set, Pno. Str. When We Forgetfor Chamber Orchestra 11:00 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 1 0; 2Perc.(opt. Timp.) Pno. Str. Orchestra w/ Soloist(s) Crossing Brooklyn Ferryfor Baritone Voice and Chamber Orchestra 14:00 Solo Bar.; 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 1 1 – 1 1 1 1; 2Perc. Pno./Cel. Hp.Str. (small section or solo strings) Fractured ElementsConcerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble 22:00 Solo Tpt/Flugel..; 4(Fl. 1 and 2 dbl. Picc.) 3 4 3, S.Sax., A.Sax., T.Sax., Bar.Sax. – 4 4 4 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Hp. VoicesConcerto for String Quartet and Orchestra 16:30 Str.4tet.; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 1 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str. Band / Wind Ensemble Concerto for Wind Ensemble 2Picc.(2 dbl. Fl.), 3Fl., 2Ob.(dbl. Harm.), E.H.(dbl. Harm.), EbCl., 3Cl., B.Cl., 2Bsn., Cbsn., S.Sax.(dbl. A.Sax.), A.Sax., T.Sax., Bar.Sax. – 5Tpt.(1 dbl. Picc.Tpt.), 4Hn. 3Tbn., B.Tbn. Euph., Tu., Cb.; Pno. Hp. Timp.(dbl. Picc. Woodblock), 5Perc., Pre- Radiant Nationfor Wind Ensemble 6:30 2 Picc.(2nd dbl. Fl.) 2Fl. 2Ob. E.H.(opt.) Cl.(Eb) 3Cl.(Bb) B.Cl. 2A.Sax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. 2Bsn. Cbsn.(opt.) 4Hn. 3Tpt. 2Tbn. B.Tbn. Euph. Tu. Cb.(opt.) Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Pno.
Clint Needham writes complex and compelling music where every detail is carefully considered.
–American Composers Orchestra
Clint Needham knows how to both orchestrate and create a compelling music narrative. His music demonstrates remarkable range and color.
–Robert Beaser, The Juilliard School
The concert ended with the “Chamber Symphony” by Clint Needham, another alumnus of the Underwood readings. Intentionally or not, the title proposed a possible lineage. Whereas John Adams describes his Chamber Symphony as a mix of Schoenberg’s first work by that name and the zany energy of Road Runner cartoons, Mr. Needham’s frenetic, wildly entertaining piece suggests a mix of Mr. Adams’s music, “The Simpsons” and a two-liter bottle of Cherry Coke, consumed in a single gulp.
–Steve Smith, The New York Times
Needham said his inspiration came from his three young children and indeed, the work was full of a boisterous energy, sunny harmonies, and strongly accented rhythms. … Needham knows how to orchestrate with a clarity and his use of the orchestra’s various colors was impressive.
–Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette
The other moment of big applause occurred for a young composer named Clint Needham, whose nine-minute “Everyday Life” had its world premiere … a Pixar-like pastiche of beautiful, string-filled cinematic passages interrupted by percussive jolts and then full-orchestra frenetic playing, which helped to build the tension.
–Michael Janairo, TimesUnion.com
“Campaign rhetoric trumpeted by strings and winds? That was Clint Needham’s kickoff point for his “Radiant Nation,” the work Symphony in C played as the prize winner in its Young Composer’s Competition. The Texas-born Needham uses no words to capture the spirit of the Obama election, but slyly turns instruments into voices declaiming, snipping and even bloviating on his themes of hope and sardonic comment. … Although his aim was specific, he was doing what composers do, shaping moods and contrasts by graphic and subtle instrumental touches. His piece moves from high strings with quiet piano to a kind of sonic battleground in which lyrical moments survive trombone glissandos and the metrical energy of the orchestra pushes time and color forward. … Needham, a doctoral student at Indiana University, uses a large orchestra with lots of percussion, but his music is transparent as he makes every instrument count. It was easy to smile at this piece, for it captures a sense of giddy overstatement – the stuff of campaign rhetoric – within its below-the-surface dignity.
–Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer
…a tight, vibrant work with no fanfares or pomp. It’s sure to prompt nodding heads and tapping feet. … Daniel Dorff (Symphony in C’s Composer-in-Residence) praised “Radiant Nation,” particularly its straightforward drive and overall unity. “It’s one story, one trip, one piece of DNA,” Dorff said. “It’s fresh and spicy, and he really keeps it interesting.”
–Dave Allen, Courier-Post
The orchestra capped the evening with a speedy but tasteful performance of Clint Needham’s “Chamber Symphony.” The outer movements were raucous – especially the first, with its heavy brass and cowbell – and framed a reflective middle, titled “Open-Ended Echoes.” Here Needham did away with constant pulse, the hallmark of American Minimalism, and scored a warm, throbbing movement for strings, in which all the principal players gave lovely, resonant solos. Needham said the piece was originally inspired by the 2008 presidential races, and that seemed most appropriate in the third movement, “Radiant Nation,” as speeding phrases played in canon seemed to elbow one another out of the way. Appropriate to the outcome of Needham’s source of inspiration, the piece ended with a big surge and a joyous noise. This composer – …and this country, our very own radiant nation – is headed for big things.
–Dave Allen, Phawker.com
SOUNDS OF AKRON
…an incredibly tender…exciting…joyful new work…
–Kerry Clawson, Akron Beacon Journal
THE BODY ELECTRIC
…the conflict that raged through much of Clint Needham’s “The Body Electric” subsided to expose a calm center that sounded like a stroll through a Japanese garden.”
–Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press
Clint Needham’s “The Body Electric,” winner of the Jacobs School’s 2010 Dean’s Prize for Composition. It proved a worthy prize winner. …riveting… The music generates passion. … The orchestration is rich in colors and, unlike so many works of contemporary composers, especially young ones on the professional make, “The Body Electric” does not overuse percussion, an oft-times too-easy substitute for inspiration. … What’s more, the piece, of about 10 minutes in duration, made its integrated case compactly and, that again, is a measure of the composer’s talent. “The Body Electric” approximated a successful overture. That’s a compliment.
–Peter Jacobi, Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN)
The most ingratiating piece was BW composer-in residence, Clint Needham’s “Urban Sprawl.” … The raucous, yet transparently-bright textures using intervals and harmonies evoking Copland’s Americana works, proved a fertile mine for the six Verb Ballets dancers…
–Robert Rollin, Cleveland Classical
WHEN WE FORGET
…stunning… Inspired by Mr. Needham’s research into Alzheimer’s disease, this brilliantly orchestrated score is both dreamy and harrowing.
–Allan Kozinn, New York Times
Beauport Classical (BC41420); October 13, 2014
Performer(s): Bala Brass
Work(s): Brass Quintet No. 2, “Abstract Mosaics”
JEWELS – AMERICAN BRASS QUINTET
Summit Records (DCD484); August 1, 2007
Performer(s): American Brass Quintet
Work(s): Brass Quintet No. 1, “Circus”
2010: Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
2010: Indiana University Deans Prize for orchestral composition
2010: Special Distinction, ASCAP/Rudolf Nissim Prize
2009: ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Award
2009: Composition Fellowship from the Composers Conference at Wellesley College
2009: First Prize, International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest
2009: SCI/ASCAP Student Composer Commission
2008: Composition Fellowship from the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
2008: Heckscher Composition Prize from Ithaca College
2008: Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival
2008: Lee Ettelson Award from Composers, Inc.
2008: Symphony in C Young Composers’ Competition Award
2007: ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Award
2007: First Music Orchestral Commission from the New York Youth Symphony
2007: Underwood New Music Commission from the American Composers Orchestra
2007: William Schuman Prize/BMI Student Composer Award
2006: Washington International Competition for Composers (2nd Prize)
2005: Susan and Ford Schumann Composition Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival
2004: International Trumpet Guild Composition Contest (2nd Prize)
for Chamber EnsembleEarth and Green
for OrchestraEveryday Life
for OrchestraRadiant Nation
for OrchestraRadiant Nation
for Wind EnsembleSouthern Air
for OrchestraSuburban Grooves
for OrchestraThe Body Electric
for OrchestraUrban Sprawl
for Chamber OrchestraWhen We Forget