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Trees by Tennis Courts

Pierce Gradone


Pierce Gradone

Assistant Professor of Music

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Assistant Professor of Music

Pierce Gradone

General Interests

My work reflects the strange brew of musical experiences that made up my musical formation - playing in garage bands, orchestras, musical theater troupes, and Pentecostal church services. As a result, my pieces tend to address a wide range of issues and concepts, from technological reproduction to improvisational comedy. My teaching aims to help students incorporate their own musical biographies into unique compositional voices, whether they are writing a song, producing a hip-hop album, composing a string quartet, or making experimental performance art. I also direct the Knox Electronic Music Studio, our state-of-the-art production suite designed for our students to pursue their creative projects.

Years at Knox: 2018 to present

Teaching interests

Ph.D., Music, 2018, University of Chicago
M.M., Music Composition, 2011, University of Texas at Austin
B.M., Music Composition and Theory, 2009, Florida State University

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors & Grants

First Prize, Lyra Society of Philadelphia Costello Competition, 2018
First Prize, American Modern Ensemble Competition, 2017
2016, Chicago Civic Orchestra Composer’s Project
2015, Fromm Music Foundation Commission
2014, First Prize, Luna Nova Composition Competition
2012, Third Prize, Austin Peay Young Composers Competition


New Music and Spirituality, New Music Gathering, 2018.

Recent Performances

Damselfly Trio,  Lungfuls of Dusk, (Dublin, Ireland) - October, 2018
Katherine Weintraub,  Keep the Balance on a Back Curve for alto saxophone (Zagreb, Croatia) - July, 2018
Soundstreams Ensemble,  Wooden Balloon for voice and ensemble (Toronto, Canada) - June, 2018
Steven Parker and Ensemble Dal Niente,  That Dark Electric: Concerto for Trombone and Ensemble, 2018 (Chicago, IL) - April, 2018
Israel Contemporary Players,  To Paint Their Madness (Tel Aviv, Israel) - March, 2018
Riot Ensemble,  To Paint Their Madness for 12 musicians (London, England) - January 2018
American Modern Ensemble,  The Art of Falling (New York, New York) - October 2017

Commercial Recordings

Hayes/Peterson Duo,  Visitor Pass, 2016
Martin McCain,  Shades, 2015

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Printed on Tuesday, September 26, 2023