VIDEO: Composer John Corigliano on the 'Architecture of Composition'

Watch as he explains what he does in the eight months before he writes down a single note.

By: May. 18, 2021

Watch in the video below as composer John Corigliano details his process for composition, mastering tension and release, and how he spends eight months preparing before writing down a single note.

John Corigliano's music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world. His honors include the Pulitzer Prize for Symphony No. 2, the Grawemeyer Award for his Symphony No. 1 (given over 300 performances worldwide), the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Original Score (The Red Violin), and, of his five Grammy Awards, three for Best Contemporary Composition (Symphony No. 1, String Quartet, and Mr. Tambourine Man.)

Recent scores include a second opera, The Lord of Cries, with a libretto by Mark Adamo based on The Bacchae of Euripides and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Corigliano's first opera since The Ghosts of Versailles for The Metropolitan Opera in 1991, The Lord of Cries is commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera for premiere in 2021. A new Saxophone Concerto for the San Francisco Symphony's 2020-2021 season will be Corigliano's tenth piece for soloist and orchestra, after his concerti for piano, oboe, clarinet, flute (Pied Piper Fantasy), guitar (Troubadours), violin (The Red Violin), and percussion (Conjurer), as well as the orchestral song-cycles Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan for amplified soprano, and One Sweet Morning for mezzo-soprano. Other scores include Symphony No. 3: Circus Maximus for multiple wind ensembles, as well a rich folio of chamber works.

The French premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, in a co-production with Glimmerglass Festival, is scheduled by the Royal Opera of Versailles for December of 2019; this follows its 2015 staging by Los Angeles Opera, which collected 2017 Grammys for Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Classical album. In spring of 2019, Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 travelled to Hong Kong and returned to the New York Philharmonic, both engagements conducted by Jaap van Zweden.

RELATED STORIES - Classical Music

ensembleNewSRQ Reveals Its 2023-24 Season Photo
ensembleNewSRQ Reveals Its 2023-24 Season

ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ), the innovative chamber music ensemble, is celebrating its eighth season with contemporary masterworks, three world premieres, two commissioned works and dynamic collaborations. Learn more about the lineup here!

American Composers Orchestra Hosts 2nd Creative Catalyst Awards, Honoring Paquito DRivera, Photo
American Composers Orchestra Hosts 2nd Creative Catalyst Awards, Honoring Paquito D'Rivera, Dr. Indira Etwaroo, and Edward Yim

The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) will present an evening of honors and performances during its second annual Gala and Creative Catalyst Awards on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 6:00PM. Learn more about the gala and find out how to attend here!

Byrd Ensemble to Release New Album PENITENCE & LAMENTATION and Premiere Nico Muhly Com Photo
Byrd Ensemble to Release New Album PENITENCE & LAMENTATION and Premiere Nico Muhly Composition

Byrd Ensemble celebrates their 20th anniversary and the 400th anniversary of William Byrd's death with the release of their new album, 'Penitence & Lamentation.' The album features a world premiere by Nico Muhly and will be available on November 3, 2023.

Jerod Impichchaachaaha Tates 23/24 Season to Include Commissions From NY Phil, Lincoln Cen Photo
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate's 23/24 Season to Include Commissions From NY Phil, Lincoln Center & More

Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate announces his 2023/2024 season, featuring commissions from the New York Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Turtle Island Quartet, and more. Don't miss his live performances and new album recordings.

More Hot Stories For You


#repshow# in[i]# Gateways Chamber Players
Carnegie Hall (10/22-10/22)
#repshow# in[i]# Emily D'Angelo / Sophia Muñoz
Carnegie Hall (4/20-4/20)
#repshow# in[i]# Sergei Babayan
Carnegie Hall (11/02-11/02)
#repshow# in[i]# Quartetto di Cremona
Carnegie Hall (10/26-10/26)
#repshow# in[i]# Jordi Savall / Hespèrion XXI
Carnegie Hall (4/03-4/03)
#repshow# in[i]# The English Concert
Carnegie Hall (12/10-12/10)
#repshow# in[i]# National Symphony Orchestra
Carnegie Hall (2/12-2/12)
#repshow# in[i]# The Met Orchestra Chamber Ensemble
Carnegie Hall (11/09-11/09)
#repshow# in[i]# English Baroque Soloists
Carnegie Hall (10/25-10/25)
#repshow# in[i]# Sphinx Virtuosi
Carnegie Hall (10/20-10/20)