Clint Needham

  • 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
    114-41520 Viola Music
    9:00 Viola Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    114-41380 Abstract Mosaics
    1030 Brass Quintet
    114-41651 Axioms
    For Ensemble
    10:00 Chamber Ensemble
    114-41379 Brass Quintet No. 1
    10:00 Brass Quintet
    114-41381 Five Movements
    For Wind Quintet
    7:00 Woodwind Quintet
    114-41382 String Quartet No. 1
    ‘Shades Of Green’
    17:00 String Quartet
    17309 Above the Tree Line
    12:00 1 1 1 1 – 1 0 0 0; Perc. Hp. Pno. Str.
    17381 the Body Electric
    for 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)
    17380 the Body Electric
    for Orchestra
    9:00 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2(dbl.B.Cl.) 2 – 2 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp. 2Perc. Hp. Pno. Str.
    17307 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.
    17476 Driving Music
    for String Orchestra
    11:00 Str.
    17305 Earth and Green
    for Orchestra
    13:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    21698 Everyday Life
    for Orchestra
    9:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str.
    23550 Flourishes
    Full Orchestra Version
    4:00 3(Picc.) 2 2(2 dbl. B.Cl.) 2 – 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 1Perc. Str.
    23551 Flourishes
    Small Orchestra Version
    4:00 2(2 dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp.(dbl. sus.cym., tri.) Str.
    17477 Inside & Out
    8:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str.
    21721 Legacies
    for Orchestra
    6:30 3 2 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Str.
    17306 Radiant Nation
    for Orchestra
    6:30 2(2nd dbl. Picc.) 2 2(E-flat Cl., B.Cl.) 2 – 2 2 2 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    23529 Sounds of Akron: City Meets Symphony
    for Orchestra
    17479 Southern Air
    9:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str.
    23481 Suburban Grooves
    for Orchestra
    7:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Str.
    21671 Urban Sprawl
    for 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.
    21722 When We Forget
    for Chamber Orchestra
    11:00 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 1 0; 2Perc.(opt. Timp.) Pno. Str.
    Orchestra w/ Soloist(s)
    17308 Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
    for 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)
    21720 Fractured Elements
    Concerto 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.
    21776 Voices
    Concerto 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
    23559 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-
    17350 Radiant Nation
    for 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,

    “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,

    …an incredibly tender…exciting…joyful new work…
    –Kerry Clawson, Akron Beacon Journal

    …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

    …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

  • Revealed REVEALED
    Beauport Classical (BC41420); October 13, 2014
    Performer(s): Bala Brass
    Work(s): Brass Quintet No. 2, “Abstract Mosaics”
    Jewels - American Brass Quintet 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)

  • Axioms
    for Chamber Ensemble
    Chamber Symphony
    Earth and Green
    for Orchestra
    Everyday Life
    for Orchestra
    Radiant Nation
    for Orchestra
    Radiant Nation
    for Wind Ensemble
    Southern Air
    for Orchestra
    Suburban Grooves
    for Orchestra
    The Body Electric
    for Orchestra
    Urban Sprawl
    for Chamber Orchestra
    When We Forget
    for Orchestra