Composer Eugene O’Brien

The recipient of the Academy Award in Music of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome, composer Eugene O’Brien has received awards from BMI, ASCAP, and the League of Composers / International Society for Contemporary Music. He has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Fulbright, National Endowment for the Arts and other fellowships, and has been commissioned by the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, by the Meet-the-Composer / Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, and by many performers and ensembles in the United States, Europe and Asia.

His music has been heard in concerts by the Cleveland Orchestra, the Italian Radio (RAI) Orchestras of Rome and Turin, the Omaha Symphony, as part of the Saint Louis Symphony Discovery series, the Louisville Orchestra New Dimensions series, and in numerous other concerts and festivals throughout this country and abroad. Recorded on the CRI, Golden Crest, Crystal, Fontec, Capstone and Indiana University labels, his works are published by Codex Nuovo, G. Schirmer, and Boosey & Hawkes. Biographies and descriptions of his work are included in The New Groves Dictionary of American Music, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music.

Also active in the performance of new music, composer Eugene O’Brien co-founded the Cleveland new music ensemble Reconnaissance with Donald Erb in 1978 and was associated with the group as its director until 1984. In 1985-87 he served on the production board of the Contemporary Music Forum in Washington, D.C., and directed the Indiana University New Music Ensemble from 1991 to 1993.

Mr. O’Brien studied composition with Robert Beadell, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, John Eaton, Iannis Xenakis and Donald Erb. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Nebraska, undertook post-graduate studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Köln, Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, and received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music / Case Western Reserve University. Mr. O’Brien has been a faculty member of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 1987, was chair of the Composition Department from 1994 to 1999, and served as the school’s Executive Associate Dean from 1999 through 2016. He has also been a member of the composition faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.