Jim Clarke







Index of Compositions


Program Notes






Jim Clarke (b. 1971, Plainfield NJ), began his musical career playing guitar, and dabbled in a variety of instruments before settling down with the saxophone, on which he still performs. As a composer, he reached the classical music world from rock beginnings, with jazz as the intermediary. All these roots are still clearly audible in his music, especially in a highly individual use of rhythm, in which commonplace classical, pop, and jazz figures are jumbled together in extremely slippery combinations. Most recently, he has taken an interest in the modern possibilities of ancient European instruments.

Barely out of his teens in 1991 Clarke received a BMI Student Composer Award for his Prelude for Winds, and he has continued to garner accolades in the succeeding years. He studied with Roger Briggs at Western Washington University, then pursued graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Steve Martland, receiving his MA in 1997. Via a special fellowship, created for him, he then taught as a regular member of the Academic Studies staff. The Academy also commissioned him to write an orchestral work (Portal) for the school's 175th anniversary celebrations, and showcased his horizon for solo piano on a world tour by the Academy's performers. In 1998 he moved to The Hague for further study with Louis Andriessen at the Koninklijk Conservatorium. He moved back to the US in 2001, and reinvented himself as a wine critic and sommelier while continuing to compose. Prior to this transformation, he created the incidental music for a 2001 production of Marat/Sade at Juilliard (from which is derived Sarah's Sketchbook); and dizzy from the sun was performed at the 2002 June in Buffalo festival.

He currently lives in New York City.

Chronological List of Compositions

(unpublished except as noted)

2003: In Bloom (fl, cl, mba, elgtr, elbgtr, pno=synth, vn, vc).

2003: Maple Grove (asax, string 4tet).

2003: Frieze (4 gtr).

2002: Smith (fl, bcl, pno).

2002: Surf and Turf (4 elgtr or 3 elgtr, elbgtr).

2002: Variations (sax 4tet)

2001: In the Luxembourg Gardens (S, sax 4tet or piano) text by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

2001: primary (recorder 4tet. Kallisti.

2001: Sarah's Sketchbook (2 gtr).

2001: De Vitry Sculpture (triple harp).

2000: deus ex machina (bcl concerto: bcl solo +, pno=celesta/strings).

1999: Two Step (rec 4tet and string 4tet).

1998: American Pastoral (ATB voices/melody insts, 2 harmony insts, 1 bass inst) text by the composer

1998: Dog (S, sax 4tet or piano) text by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.


1998: BIG LETTERS (S, wind 5tet) text by e.e. cummings.

1998: Music for Terra (hp, str 4tet) 1

1997: dizzy from the sun (vn, pno.)

1997: the kiss (countertenor, 4 rec., 2 gtr, hp.) text by e.e. cummings.

1997: Mosaic Fragment (ob and gtr). Kallisti.

1997: horizon (solo piano). Kallisti.

1997: Foothills (2 gtr, vn, vc).

1997: Portal (

1996: Zwack! (solo flute). Kallisti.

1996: Vespertine Paths (fl and gtr). Kallisti.

1996: Four Plum Trees (hpsi). Kallisti.

1996: Fictions (gtr and bn). Kallisti.

1996: Phrygian Journey (, pno, hp/strings): 18'. Kallisti.

1995: Lakeside (gtr): 6'. Kallisti.

1995: Canciones de luna (sop, fl, bcl, gtr): 11'. Kallisti.

1995: Bestiary (string 4tet): 31'. Kallisti.

1995: Traveler (fl, cl, perc, vc): 13'. Kallisti.

1994: Taltos (va and pno): 35'. Kallisti.

1994: Three Preludes for Piano: 8'. Kallisti.

1994: Sonatina (altsax and pno): 10'. Kallisti.

1993: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (also arr. va and pno): 17'. Kallisti.

1993: Two Dances (fl/picc, vc, tub, perc).

1992: Triptych for Solo Snare Drum.

1992: Behind the Waterfall (4 fl).

1992: Mid-Ocean Ridge (piano).

1991: Self Portrait (, sax/, keybd, elgtr, elbgtr/ 10'. Kallisti.

1991: Prelude for Winds (band).


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