Eric Moe (b. 1954), composer of what the NY Times has called “music of winning exuberance,” has received numerous grants and awards for his work, including the Lakond Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellowship; commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, Meet-the-Composer USA, and New Music USA; fellowships from the Wellesley Composer's Conference and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Bellagio, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the UCross Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, the Aaron Copland House, the Millay Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, the Montana Artists Refuge, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, the Hambidge Center, and the American Dance Festival, among others.
Tri-Stan, his sit-trag/one-woman opera on a text by David Foster Wallace, premiered by Sequitur in 2005, was hailed by the New York Times as “a blockbuster” and “a tour de force,” a work of “inspired weight” that “subversively inscribes classical music into pop culture.” In its review of the piece, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette concluded, “it is one of those rare works that transcends the cultural divide while still being rooted in both sides.” The work is available on a Koch International Classics compact disc. Strange Exclaiming Music, a CD featuring Moe’s recent chamber music, was released by Naxos in July 2009 as part of their American Classics series; Fanfare magazine described it as “wonderfully inventive, often joyful, occasionally melancholy, highly rhythmic, frequently irreverent, absolutely eclectic, and always high-octane music.” Kick & Ride, on the bmop/sound label, was picked by WQXR for album of the week: “…it’s completely easy to succumb to the beats and rhythms that come out of Moe’s fantastical imaginarium, a headspace that ties together the free-flowing atonality of Alban Berg with the guttural rumblings of Samuel Barber’s Medea, adding in a healthy dose of superhuman strength.” Other all-Moe CDs are available on New World Records (Meanwhile Back At The Ranch), Albany Records (Kicking and Screaming, Up & At ‘Em, Siren Songs), and Centaur (On the Tip of My Tongue). The Sienese Shredder, a fine arts journal, includes an all-Moe CD as part of its third issue.
As a pianist and keyboardist, Moe has premiered and performed works by a wide variety of composers. His playing can be heard on the Koch, CRI, Mode, Albany, New World Records and Innova labels in the music of John Cage, Roger Zahab, Marc-Antonio Consoli, Mathew Rosenblum, Jay Reise, Ezra Sims, David Keberle, Felix Draeseke, and many others in addition to his own. His solo recording The Waltz Project Revisited - New Waltzes for Piano, a CD of waltzes for piano by two generations of American composers, was released in 2004 on Albany. Gramophone magazine said of the CD, “Moe’s command of the varied styles is nothing short of remarkable.” A founding member of the San Francisco-based EARPLAY ensemble, he currently co-directs the Music on the Edge new music concert series in Pittsburgh.
Moe studied composition at Princeton University (A.B.) and at the University of California at Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D.). He is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh and has held visiting professorships at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. More information is available at his website, ericmoe.net.
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photo credit: Mara Rago