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Bernard Rands

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Title: Bernard Rands  
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Subject: Pulitzer Prize for Music, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cornell University Glee Club, List of music students by teacher: A to B, Joseph Waters
Collection: 1934 Births, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century Classical Composers, 21St-Century American Musicians, 21St-Century Classical Composers, American Classical Composers, American Male Classical Composers, American Male Composers, Boston University Faculty, English Emigrants to the United States, Guggenheim Fellows, Harvard University Faculty, Living People, People from Sheffield, Princeton University Faculty, Pulitzer Prize for Music Winners, Pupils of Luciano Berio, Pupils of Luigi Dallapiccola, Rome Prize Winners, University of California, San Diego Faculty
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Bernard Rands

Bernard Rands (born 2 March 1934) is a British-American composer of contemporary classical music.

Rands was born in Sheffield, England. He studied music and English literature at the University of Wales, Bangor, and composition with Pierre Boulez and Bruno Maderna in Darmstadt, Germany, and with Luigi Dallapiccola and Luciano Berio in Milan, Italy.

He held residencies at Princeton University, the University of Illinois, and the University of York before emigrating to the United States in 1975; he became a U.S. citizen in 1983. In 1984, Rands's Canti del Sole, premiered by Paul Sperry, Zubin Mehta, and the New York Philharmonic, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

He has since taught at the University of California, San Diego, the Juilliard School, Yale University, and Boston University. From 1988 to 2005 he taught at Harvard University, where he is Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music Emeritus. For his notable students, See: List of music students by teacher: R to S#Bernard Rands.

Rands has received many awards for his work, and was elected and inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. From 1989 to 1995 he was composer-in-residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Rands's music is widely recorded. The recording of his Canti D'Amor by the men's vocal ensemble Chanticleer won a Grammy Award in 2000.

Rands is married to American composer Augusta Read Thomas.[1]


  • Works 1
    • Opera 1.1
    • Orchestral 1.2
    • Chamber 1.3
    • Vocal 1.4
    • Choral 1.5
    • Solo Instrumental 1.6
    • Music Theatre 1.7
    • Educational 1.8
    • Current Projects 1.9
  • References 2
  • External links 3
    • Listening 3.1






  • Ballad 1 (1970), for mezzo-soprano solo & ensemble
    written for SONOR ensemble, a group formed by Rands. Text by Gilbert Sorrentino.
  • Ballad 2 (1970), for female voice & piano
    commissioned by Jane Manning
  • Metalepsis 2 (1971), for mezzo-soprano solo, small choir & chamber orchestra
    commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, who gave the première in 1972 with soprano Cathy Berberian, conducted by Luciano Berio at the English Bach Festival
  • Ballad 3 (1973), for soprano & tape (plus bell)
  • Wildtrack 2 (1973), for soprano solo & orchestra
  • Canti Lunatici (1980), for soprano & ensemble/orchestra
  • déjà 2 (1980), for female voice solo & ensemble
  • Canti del Sole (1984), for tenor solo & ensemble/orchestra
  • Canti dell'Eclisse (1992), for bass solo & ensemble/orchestra
  • Walcott Songs (2004), for mezzo-soprano & cello
    song-cycle to texts by Derek Walcott, commissioned by the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival; premièred in the Seiji Ozawa Hall in January 2005 by Abigail Fischer (mezzo-soprano) and Norman Fischer (cello)
  • again... (2006), for mezzo-soprano & ensemble
    commissioned by Network for New Music, and premièred by that ensemble in November 2006 with mezzos-soprano Janice Felty


Solo Instrumental

  • Tre Espressione (1960), for piano
  • Formants 1 - Les Gestes (1965), for harp
  • Memo 1 (1971), for contrabass
    commissioned by Barry Guy; premièred at the English Bach Festival, Oxford in 1972
  • Memo 2 (1973), for trombone
  • Memo 3 (1989), for cello
  • Memo 4 (1997), for flute
    commissioned by Ekkehart Trenknner for Judith Pierce, who gave the work's première in 1997
  • Memo 5 (1975), for piano
  • Memo 6 (1999), for alto saxophone
  • Memo 7 (2000), for female voice
  • Memo 8 (2000), for oboe
  • HBDZ (2001), for piano
  • Preludes (2007), for piano
  • Three Piano Pieces (2010)

Music Theatre

  • Ballad 2 (1970), for female voice & piano
    commissioned by Jane Manning
  • Ballad 3 (1973), for soprano & tape (plus bell)
  • Memo 2B (1980), for trombone and female mime
  • Memo 2D (1980), for trombone, string quartet and female mime


  • Sound Patterns 1 (1967), for voices & hands
  • Sound Patterns 2 (1967), for voices, percussion and miscellaneous instruments
  • Per Esempio (1969), for youth orchestra
  • Sound Patterns 3 (1969), for voices (project)
  • Sound Patterns 4 (1969), for miscellaneous instrumental groups (graphic score)
  • Agenda (1970), for youth orchestra

Current Projects

Rands has most recently completed a Seattle Symphony commission, which premièred under Gerard Schwarz on 7 December 2010 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, alongside works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.[2]


  1. ^ "Bernard Rands : Composer". 
  2. ^ "Recent Press Release - Seattle Symphony Orchestra". 
  • Kennedy, Michael and Kennedy, Joyce Bourne (eds.) (2006) "Rands, Bernard" The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2nd rev.) Oxford University Press, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-861459-4

External links

  • Bernard Rands official site
  • Bernard Rands page from Art of the States site
  • Interview with Bernard Rands by Bruce Duffie, December 3, 1993


  • Art of the States: Bernard Rands two works by the composer
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