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(Photo courtesy: Nonesuch Records)

American Composer Ingram Marshall has Died, Aged 80


Born in 1942, Ingram Marshall grew up in New York State and studied music at Lake Forest College and Columbia University, where he was involved with the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center — the oldest center for electroacoustic music in the U.S.

Marshall later became a graduate assistant to electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick at New York University and California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS). 

Developing an interest in the Javanese gamelan, Marshall traveled to Bali in 1971 to study the tradition and change his compositional style. According to NPR, his early work reflects the gamelan tradition as well as tape loop techniques introduced by composers Steve Reich and Terry Riley

Marshall also held teaching posts at CALARTS in the 1970s, and Evergreen State College in the 1980s, as well as visiting positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College, and Yale University. 

His former students include renowned composers, musicians, and musicologists such as Timo Andres, Armando Bayolo, Christopher Cerrone, Tyondai Braxton, Jacob Cooper, Adrian Knight, Matt Sargent, and Stephen Gorbos.

Marshall was known for creating links between minimalist and electronic music. Composer and friend John Adams described the essence of his music as “deep and brooding…Although its generously layered surfaces are often painted with a rich, almost opiated luxuriance, the message is, never-the-less, always spiritual, one might even say religious, in content.”

Additionally, Marshall’s works often incorporate quotations, including Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata in “Woodstone,” Bach in “Holy Ghosts,” Stravinsky’s Orphée in “Orphic Memories,” and Sibelius — who was a favorite — in several other works. His best-known work is “Fog Tropes,” which he also worked on with Adams.

Those who commissioned and performed Marshall’s music included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Kronos Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, guitarist Benjamin Verdery, and pianist Sarah Cahill, among others, according to the Washington Post.

His many accolades included awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is survived by his wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. A concert in Marshall’s honor is being planned at Yale for the 2022-23 academic year.

Our condolences to Mr. Marshall’s family, friends, students, and colleagues.



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