Composer for the 2014 Conference
John Mackey, born October 1, 1973, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb, respectively. Mackey particularly enjoys writing music for dance and for symphonic winds, and he has focused on those mediums for the past few years.
His works have been performed at the Sydney Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Italy's Spoleto Festival, Alice Tully Hall, Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, and throughout Italy, Chile, Japan, China, Norway, Spain, Colombia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
Mackey has received numerous commissions from the Parsons Dance Company, as well as commissions from the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, Dallas Theater Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, New York Youth Symphony, Ailey 2, Concert Artists Guild, Peridance Ensemble, and Jeanne Ruddy Dance. Recent commissions include works for the American Bandmasters Association, Dallas Wind Symphony, and a concerto for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi.
As a frequent collaborator, Mackey has worked with a diverse range of artists, from Doug Varone to David Parsons, from Robert Battle to the US Olympic Synchronized Swim Team. (The team won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics performing to Mackey's score, "Damn.")
Mackey has been recognized with numerous grants and awards from organizations including ASCAP (Concert Music Awards, 1999 through 2008; Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, 2002 and 2003), the American Music Center (Margaret Jory Fairbanks Copying Assistance Grant, 2000, 2002), and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (Live Music for Dance commissioning grants, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2005), and an NEA grant in 2007. He was a CalArts/Alpert Award nominee in 2000.
In February 2003, the Brooklyn Philharmonic premiered Mackey’s work “Redline Tango” at the BAM Opera House, with Kristjan Jarvi conducting. The Dallas Symphony, under Andrew Litton, performed the piece in both Dallas and Vail in 2004. Litton performed the work again in 2005, this time with the Minnesota Orchestra, and again in 2006 with the Bergen Philharmonic of Norway. Marin Alsop performed the work at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in the summer of 2005. Mackey made a new version of the work for wind ensemble in 2004 – Mackey's first work for wind band – and that version has since received over 250 performances worldwide. The wind version won the 2004 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, and in 2005, the ABA/Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association, making Mackey the youngest composer to receive the honor. Mackey again received the ABA/Ostwald Award – as well as the National Band Association's William D. Revelli Award – in 2009 for "Aurora Awakes."
Mackey served as a Meet-The-Composer/American Symphony Orchestra League "Music Alive!" Composer In Residence with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony in 2002–03, and with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2004–05. He was Composer In Residence at the Vail Valley Music Festival in Vail, Colorado, in the summer of 2004, and Composer In Residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in August 2005. He has held college residencies at Florida State, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, James Madison University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Florida, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State University, Texas Tech, Ball State, University of Oklahoma, Arizona State, Oklahoma State University, University of Washington, University of Southern California, University of Texas, and many others. Mackey served as Music Director of the Parsons Dance Company from 1999–2003, and he taught at Cal State Long Beach in 2008–09.
To entertain himself while procrastinating on commissions, Mackey is a photography enthusiast. For more information, please visit his website.
Western Michigan University is pleased to welcome Mackey as a guest composer for the School of Music's 46th annual Spring Conference on Wind and Percussion Music.