roger zare

Sam Jones Fellow


Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” His colorfully descriptive compositions often take inspiration from science, nature, mathematics, and mythology. He was born in Sarasota, Florida, and began playing piano at age 5 and violin at age 11; he started composing at age 14. Roger holds degrees from the University of Michigan (DMA 2012), the Peabody Conservatory (MM ’09) and USC (BM ’07). Recent projects and collaborations have included interdisciplinary connections with physicists. In 2014, Zare partnered with CERN to present his saxophone quartet, “LHC,” performed by the Donald Sinta Quartet at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in a program featuring the collision of music and physics. In early 2016, another interdisciplinary collaboration partnered Roger with Elizabeth Hicks, an astrophysicist, and Megan Rhyme, a choreographer, producing "Far from Equilibrium," an evening-length dance piece for clarinet quartet and eight dancers based on the physics of turbulence. Recent honors include a Copland House residency and the Kaplan Fellowship in composition at the 2016 Bowdoin International Music Festival. His compositions are published by Theodore Presser Inc, the FJH Music Company, Manhattan Beach Music, and Roger Zare Music. Roger currently teaches at Illinois State University and lives with his wife Alex and cat Percy who is calm 95% of the time and insane the other 5%. When he's not composing or making parts, Roger’s probably running, watching football, or reading sci-fi novels.


Music created during Cycle Two: