Larry Bell, Composer
Recognized by The Chicago Tribune as a "major talent", composer Larry Bell has been awarded the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and the Charles Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received grants from Meet the Composer, the American Symphony Orchestra League, and the American Music Center. Bell received his doctorate from The Julliard School as a student of Vincent Persichetti.
Bell's music has been performed in the United States, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Canada, and Jamaica by leading ensembles and orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, the RAI Orchestra of Rome, the Julliard Philharmonia, the Boston Chamber Music Society, Speculum Musicae, and Music Today. The Julliard String Quartet premiered Bell's String Quartet No. 1, written when the composer was 21. Bell's music has been heard on WXQR, WGBH, RAI 3, and on a one-hour National Public Radio documentary devoted to his music. His Sacred Symphonies was recorded by the Radio Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and released in 1993 on the Vienna Modern Masters label.
As a pianist, Bell has concertized in Italy, Austria, New York, and Boston as well as throughout the Northeast and Southeast. A champion of contemporary American music, he gave the European premiere of Persichetti's Parable for piano, and first performances of Persichetti's Twelfth Piano Sonata and Frederic Rzewski's North American Ballads and A Machine. Bell also frequently lectures and gives masterclasses on contemporary music.
In 1995, Larry Bell made his debut as a conductor at the Aspen (CO) Music Festival, and his "Blues Theme with Variations" was introduced at the Moscow Autumn Festival. Commissioned by the vocal ensemble, Modus Novus, A Cry Against the Twilight" was premiered in San Francisco in April, 1996. Bell played his Piano Sonata in Boston, New York and Tokyo; his "vibrant" (The Music Connoisseur) CD recording is on North/South Recordings. In June of 1996, he recorded his Piano Concerto with the Russe Philharmonic in Bulgaria which was to be released on the Vienna Modern Masters label late in 1996. On December 8 of 1996, his new work Mahler in Blue Light was premiered by 30 different trios through the auspices of the World-Wide Concurrent Premieres and Commission Fund, Inc. Bell's recent honors include election to the Board of NACUSA.
Larry Bell was born in Wilson, North Carolina in 1952. He taught theory and solfege at The Julliard School's Pre- College Division from 1979-1984. Since 1980, he has taught composition at The Boston Conservatory. In 1992, he was appointed to the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.
March 2, 1997