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Judith Shatin is a timbral experimentalist and creates in genres from chamber, choral and orchestral to digital and multimedia. She has been influenced by earlier composers including Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Varèse; by more recent composers such as Berio and Ligeti; and a variety of contemporaries, ranging from Eno to Charles Dodge to R. Murray Schaeffer. The sounding world is often reflected in her music, as in Singing the Blue Ridge, scored for mezzo, baritone, orchestra and electronics made from wild animal calls; or in For the Birds, for amplified cello and electronics made from birdsong of the Yellowstone region. At the same time, she continues to create acoustic pieces, such as Songs of War and Peace (SATB + piano or chamber orchestra). Shatin’s music has garnered awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, Lila Wallace – Readers Digest Arts Partners Program, and many more.
Shatin started as a purely acoustic composer, but since the late eighties, when she founded the Virginia Center for Computer Music at the University of Virginia, she has created a substantial body of electroacoustic and digital music. Examples include Elijah’s Chariot, for string quartet and electronics, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet; Spring Tides, for Pierrot Ensemble and interactive electronics, commissioned by Da Capo Chamber Players; and Rotunda, a new music video (2009) created in collaboration with filmmaker Robert Arnold. Her work ranges from totally fixed to improvisational. Her Grito del Corazón, for electronics, visuals (by Kathy Aoki) and improvising chamber ensemble or soloist is an example of the latter. She also continues to compose for acoustic ensembles, such as Da Capo Chamber Players and the Richmond Symphony. Shatin is a strong advocate for her fellow composers, having served on the boards of the American Composers Alliance, the League/ISCM, IAWM, and as President of American Women Composers. Shatin is currently William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Music at the University of Virginia.