Biography

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1955, composer Jeffrey Mumford has received numerous fellowships, grants, awards and commissions. 

Awards include the "Academy Award in Music" from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and an ASCAP Aaron Copland Scholarship. He was also the winner of the inaugural National Black Arts Festival/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition. 

Other grants have been awarded by the Ohio Arts Council, Meet the Composer, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music Inc., the ASCAP Foundation, and the University of California. 

Mumford's most notable commissions include those from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Library of Congress (co-commission), the BBC Philharmonic, the San Antonio, Chicago & National Symphonies (National Symphony twice), Washington Performing Arts, the Network for New Music, ‘cellist Mariel Roberts, the Fulcrum Point New Music Project (through New Music USA), Duo Harpverk (Iceland), the Sphinx Consortium, the Cincinnati Symphony (twice), the VERGE Ensemble /National Gallery of Art/Contemporary Music Forum, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Nancy Ruyle Dodge Charitable Trust, the Meet the Composer/Arts Endowment Commissioning Music/USA, Cincinnati radio station WGUC, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, and the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress. 

His music has been performed extensively, by major orchestras, soloists, and ensembles, both in the United States and abroad, including London, Paris, Reykjavik, Vienna, The Hague, Russia and Lithuania. 

Current projects include for Clare, a new work for solo piano commissioned by pianist Clare Longendyke (www.clarelongendyke.com) as part of her project entitled "UnRaveled", a project responding to and reimagining Ravel's piano music, and a CD of recent concerti.

Recent and forthcoming performances include the premiere of fleeting cycles of layered air by violinist Miranda Cuckson (www.mirandacuckson.com) as part of the 2021 Fromm Concert series at Harvard University, the premiere of let us breathe by cellist Dan Culnan as part of the Cincinnati Symphony's "Fanfare" series (summer 2020), 2020-2021 performances of eight musings . . . revisiting memories by violinist Gabriela Diaz (www.gabrieladiazviolin.com) at the New England Conservatory of Music,  . . . becoming by the NYU New Music Ensemble, conducted by Wayne DuMaineeight aspects of appreciation II by violinist Gabriela Diaz and cellist Francesca McNeely (www.francescamcneely.com) at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., an expanding distance of multiple voices by violinist Alexandra Osborne as part of the 21st Century Consort's season in Washington D.C, and eight aspects of appreciation by Psappha in Manchester, United Kingdom in October 2020.

Highlights of future seasons include a double concerto for violin & cello and orchestra for Lauren Cauley (www.laurencauley.com) and Mariel Roberts (www.marielroberts.com), brightness dispersed, serving as a Senior composer at the June in Buffalo Festival with composer colleagues David FelderStefano GervasoniHilda ParedesRobert H.P. Platz, and Augusta Read Thomasa concerto for 'cello & string orchestra for Mariel Roberts (www.marielroberts.com) and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn (www.thesob.org) directed by Eli Spindel, verdant cycles of deepening spring with Lauren Cauley, soloist, and the Chicago Composers Orchestra (www.chicagocomposersorchestra.org) directed by Randall West, and unfolding waves, a concerto for pianist Pina Napolitano (www.pinanapolitano.com).  Mr. Mumford will be a guest composer at the 2021 Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, where performance faculty include a present (Ronald Copes) and former member (Joel Krosnick) of the Juilliard Quartet, pianists Roberto Plano and Robert McDonald, and Laurie Smukler as Artistic Director and faculty member.

A notable new recording is two Elliott carter tributes by pianist Pina Napolitano as part of her new critically acclaimed CD "Tempo e Tempi" (Odradek Records ODCCDR378).

Mumford has taught at the Washington Conservatory of Music, served as Artist-in-Residence at Bowling Green State University, and served as assistant professor of composition and Composer-in-Residence at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He is currently Distinguished Professor at Lorain County Community College in Northern Ohio.

Mr. Mumford is published by Theodore Presser Co. and Quicklight Music.

Website: www.jeffreymumford.com 


What the critics say:

" . . . filled with incredible imagination and beautiful orchestrational detail - really superb"
 - JoAnn Falletta, Music Director, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony & Ulster Orchestra

”. . . has an unerring knack for fashioning rigorous works as changeable as cloudscapes, bursting with color, nuance and poetry”.
- Steve Smith, N.Y. Times

 “ . . . a philosophy of music making that embraced both raw passion and a gentle imagistic poetry . . his pieces carry musical evocations of the effects he describes”
- Alan Kozinn, N.Y. Times

“ . . .  a composer who makes something mesmerizing and beautiful out of harmonic ambiguity . .   Compelling listening”
“. . . a coloristic glow created by the leisurely unfolding of layered lines  . . . contemplative with gleaming touches evoking poetic sonic imagery”
- Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“ . . . a gracious use of instruments and a style of writing that is abstract yet attractively figurative”
- Joseph Dalton, Time Out New York

"The work depicts clouds in motion… Largely static, often pointillistic . . . skillfully exploits sonorities and moods, with reflective passages interrupted by threatening sounds."
- Derrick Henry, Atlanta Journal / Constitution

"The harmonies are dense but never impenetrable, the orchestral colors are downright prismatic, the dissonances are aggressive and angular yet brimming with poetry and nuance."
“ .  . . a fine strong piece . . a near Medieval purity of line. . . “
- Tim Page, Washington Post

”The result is a piece that exults in frequent shifts of color and sharply delineated gestures, the violin unleashing silvery soprano-register lines that dovetail with shimmering pitched percussion and sostenuto brass and wind passages.”
- Christian Carey, Musical America

“ . . . complex and richly imaginative music in which an almost romantic sensibility seems to radiate through a thoroughly contemporary surface.”
- Stephen Brookes, Washington Post

“ . . . stretches the listeners’ ears and imaginations”
- Mary Hoffman, Columbus (OH) Dispatch

". . . this music...has a deeply thoughtful, even soulful integrity. . ."
 “… Mumford is a composer to watch."
- Robert Carl, Fanfare

“Mumford is an astute craftsman who understands the different timbres and their subtlety”
- Sorab Modi, The STRAD