James Newton

James Newton (composer/flutist/conductor) Mr. Newton’s work encompasses chamber, symphonic, and electronic music genres, compositions for ballet and modern dance, and numerous jazz and world music contexts. Many awards, fellowships, and grants have been given to Mr. Newton, such as the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim and National Endowment of the Arts, Rockefeller Fellowships and Montreux Grande Prix Du Disque, Downbeat International Critics Jazz Album of the year, and being voted the best flutist for an unprecedented 23 consecutive years by Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Poll. The greatest challenge in his compositional career was set before Newton in 2005 when he decided to embark on a series of large-scale sacred works. The Mass was completed in 2007 and premiered at the 2007 Metastasio Festival, Prato, Italy. The U.S. premiere, an expanded choral version, was held in 2011, with Grant Gershon conducting Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Newton’s St. Matthew Passion was completed in 2014. It received its World premiere in 2015, with Grant Gershon conducting Coro e Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino at the Torino Jazz Festivals. Newton is the first African American composer to write a St. Matthew Passion. His research for the last part of the trilogy (Psalm 119), will start in the summer 2015. His reputation as a musician’s Renaissance man is due to his performances and compositions for many well-known artists in jazz and classical music. San Francisco Ballet, Coro e Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino. Vladimir Spivakov, the Moscow Virtuosi. Anthony Davis, Jose Limon Dance Company. Zakir Hussain. Avanti Chamber Orchestra. Grant Gershon. The Los Angeles Master Chorale. Billy Hart, Gloria Cheng. Henry Threadgill. Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. Ensemble fur neue Musik (Zurich), Southwest Chamber Music. Jon Jang. Frank Wess. His works have been performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Opera House and The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Newton is currently a distinguished professor at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Department of Ethnomusicology. He also held professorships at the University of California at Irvine and California Institute of the Arts. Newton received a Doctor of Arts, Honoris Causa from California Institute of the Arts in May 2005. from www.jamesnewtonmusic.com

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