i2017 Composer-in-Residence Brett Dean participates in a group rehearsing his Epitaphs.


Newly composed music has always been an integral part of the repertoire at Marlboro, where participants can select a wide range of contemporary works to explore with the luxury of abundant rehearsal time. With the guidance of Leon Kirchner, starting in the early 1960s, a resident composers program was established that opened new worlds for generations of young artists who have gone on to become leaders in all areas of music.

The opportunity to interact with the composer of a particular piece of music remains one of the valuable learning experiences at Marlboro for the musicians, one which also offers valuable new perspectives for the composer. Many have remarked that rarely have they had such thoroughly-prepared performances as those at Marlboro. Works by resident composers have received additional hearings in cities throughout the U.S. on the programs of the  Musicians from Marlboro tours.
Among the resident composers who have participated at Marlboro in most recent decades are Thomas Adès, George Benjamin, Robert Cuckson, Marc-André Dalbavie, Brett Dean, Sofia Gubaidulina, John Harbison, György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kaija Saariaho, Jörg Widmann, and more who are listed below.

Meet Our 2018 Composer-in-Residence

“I never forget the fact that, as a composer, I take possession of other people’s most precious commodity—their time. To turn that gift of time into a journey worth taking is my ultimate challenge and inspiration.”Shulamit Ran

Acclaimed for music that is “gloriously human,” Shulamit Ran was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1991, becoming the second woman to receive this honor. A native of Israel, she served for many years as the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Chicago and was in residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1996. For more information on Shulamit Ran, please visit her website.

Shulamit Ran has never forgotten that a vital essence of composition is communication.” —Chicago Tribune

Marlboro Music Composers-in-Residence (1993-2017)

Though composers have been present at Marlboro since its inception, including Co-Founder Adolf Busch, Leon Kirchner established a formal residency program in the 1960s. Through the decades, the program underwent several changes, to be revitalized again in 1993. The following list includes the names and resident years of composers since then as well as links to the performance history of their works at Marlboro.

2005: George Benjamin & William Bolcom
1998: Richard Danielpour & David Ludwig
1996: Leon Kirchner & Jaakko Kuusisto
1994: John Harbison & James Primosch

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