About

About

LJ White's music serves ideals of direct, focused and socially relevant expression, assimilating an unrestricted array of influences through strange and evocative sonorities and rhythms, concise gestures, and apposite forms.  He has worked with some of the most exciting performers in new music, including Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble SIGNAL, Ensemble Dal Niente, the JACK Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Third Angle Ensemble, Third Coast Percussion, Volti, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, the Talea Ensemble, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.  White’s recent and upcoming projects include new works for the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra under Steven Schick, the Spektral Quartet, Chamber Project St. Louis, the Breckenridge Music Festival, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Music NOW series.

White’s string quartet Zin zin zin zin was included on the Spektral Quartet’s album CHAMBERS, released by Parlour Tapes+ in 2013, and has been hailed by the New York Times as a "confident miniature, rich in implications," by New Music Box as "a tour-de-force of quartet writing," and by the Washington Post as “a terrific satire on the inflections that give language meaning.”  His work on the evening-length Everything Means Nothing to Me, created in collaboration with the Sleeping Giant Composers Collective and based on songs by the singer-songwriter Elliot Smith, will be released by Third Angle Ensemble on a Jackpot Recordings album in 2019.  White’s extended song cycle for four voices with live electronic processing, The Best Place for This, commissioned by the Quince Ensemble with support from a Chamber Music America grant, was performed in venues across the US in 2017-18, with a commercial recording forthcoming.  His choral work Digression on Number 1, 1948, developed over a yearlong residency with Volti in 2014-2015, sets Frank O'Hara's poetry on the titular Jackson Pollock painting, assembling a variegated fabric of vocal sounds inspired by Pollock's methods and the painting's contours.  The piece was described by critics as “an evocative form of sonic architecture,” “a fascinating approach to ‘art about art,’” and “imaginative … a polyphony resembling bubbles rising within water which burst and then disappear once they reach the surface… delightful and inventive.”

White has won the Craig and Janet Swan Prize, the Margaret Blackburn Composition Competition, an Emil and Ruth Beyer Award from the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composer Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance Composition Competition, and the American Prize.  He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Banff Arts Centre, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and his work has been featured at venues and festivals including the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, CULTIVATE at Copland House, the Ecstatic Music Festival, the Resonant Bodies Festival, the Gesher Music Festival, REDCAT, Omaha Under the Radar, and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. 

White lives in St. Louis and teaches composition and music theory at Washington University.