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 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Library of Congress (co-commission), the BBC Philharmonic, the San Antonio, Chicago & National Symphonies, 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, 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. 


Recent and forthcoming performances include the premiere of let us breathe (solo ‘cello) by Dan Culnan, as part of the Cincinnati Symphony’s “Fanfares’ project, and subsequent performances by Annie Jacobs-Perkins as part of a recital at the New England Conservatory of Music, and by Alan Richardson as part of a residency at Levine Music in Washington, D.C., wending by violist Jordan Bak, undiluted days by the Merz Trio, the premiere of .fleeting cycles of layered air (solo violin) by Miranda Cuckson, as part of the Fromm concert series sponsored by Harvard University, brightness dispersed (‘cello & string orchestra) by Mariel Roberts & The String Orchestra of Brooklyn,  and a landscape of interior resonances by pianists Robert Fleitz and Steven Beck. Pianist Pina Napolitano will include his two Elliott Carter tributes in her European concerts this and coming seasons, and has recorded them as part her recently released CD entitled “Tempo e Tempi” (Odradek Records -ODRCD378). 


Current projects include a new work for the JACK Quartet, entitled deepening paths of resonant light, commissioned by the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, a new work for solo ‘cello, entitled from within  . . . unveiling brightness, commissioned by Alisa Weilerstein as part of her “Fragments“ project, for Clare,  a new work for solo piano commissioned by pianist Clare Longendyke as part of  “UnRaveling”, a project responding to and reimagining Ravel’s piano music,  a new work for violist Jordan Bak, and a CD of recent concerti.


He also was featured in masterclasses at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY and Levine Music in Washington, D.C.


During the past two summers his music was featured at the June in Buffalo Festival, Kneisel Hall, Tanglewood, the Cheltenham Festival (Manchester, UK), the Aava Festival in Finland and the HIMA Festival US in Lakeside, OH. His work was also selected for a workshop at the Marlboro Festival.


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 and represented by Black Tea 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