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Andrew Conklin

Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory


Website: Andrew Conklin's music


B.M., Oberlin College Conservatory

M.A., San Francisco State University

Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Andrew Conklin is a composer, songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist who makes music that engages both with American vernacular idioms and contemporary classical practices. He has appeared as a composer or performer throughout the United States and Europe, and his music has garnered recognition from diverse voices spanning the worlds of popular and classical music.

Andrew's work has received critical acclaim in blogs such as Pitchfork and The Line of Best Fit, and has been supported by grants from sources that include the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Vox Novus. His first full-length album, If I Were More Like You, was praised by the indie rock musician Merrill Garbus as "one of the best collections of songs I've had the pleasure of being exposed to, ever" (Filter Magazine). Andrew's string quartet was a finalist for the 2017 Lake George Composition Competition and received performances at the 2017 Florida State University Biennial New Music Festival and the 2017 Society of Composers National Conference in Kalamazoo, MI. As a 2018 Millay Colony Fellow, Andrew will continue to work on Song Collector, a cycle of large-scale compositions that exist in dialog with Sidney Robertson Cowell's field recordings of California folk songs from the late 1930s.  

A versatile musical collaborator, Andrew earned a 2017 Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Recording for his bass playing on The Hazel and Alice Sessions by Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands. His playing can be heard on record labels including Six Degrees, Spruce and Maple, Plug Research, City Slang, and Arhoolie, and he has recently contributed as a guitarist to recordings by Ben Goldberg, Meklit Hadero, and Michael Rocketship. He has also toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a guitarist and bassist with indie rock bands (Chris Cohen), bluegrass groups (Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands), and improvising combos (Timosaurus). As a composer, Andrew has enjoyed fruitful partnerships with musicians from some of today's most inquisitive new music ensembles, including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Mise-En, Spektral Quartet, Ensemble Connect, Tala Rasa Percussion, and the Calidore String Quartet.  

Andrew majored in jazz studies at Oberlin Conservatory and received his PhD in composition at Stony Brook University. A dedicated educator, he has held teaching positions at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Stony Brook University, where he won the President's Award for Teaching by a Graduate Student in 2016. In August 2018, Andrew will join the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific as Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory.