Composer/conductor Rob Deemer (b.1970) first came to national attention in 1993 when he was named the College Winner of the Down Beat Magazine Student Music Award for “Best Extended Composition”. Since then, his career has taken him and his works from jazz clubs in Chicago, stage shows on a Caribbean cruise liner and film scoring studios in Los Angeles to concert halls, theatrical stages and film festivals across the country and around the world.
Ensembles that commissioned and/or performed works by Deemer include the Rascher Saxophone Quartet, U.S. Army Orchestra (Pershing’s Own), Brightmusic Ensemble, Quintet of the Americas, Florestan Recital Project, Washington Trombone Ensemble, Millar Brass Ensemble, Chicago Trombone Consort and Quartet, Florida State University Graduate Flute Choir, Tosca and MacArthur String Quartets, trombone ensembles and new music ensembles at the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma, the Austin Civic Orchestra, Kishwaukee Symphony, University of Texas Symphony, and SUNY Fredonia Chamber Orchestra and Womens Choir as well as the wind bands from the University of North Texas, Cal State-Northridge, SUNY Fredonia, Roosevelt University, Texas State University and Northern Illinois University. In the fall of 2010 he began his tenure as composer-in-residence with the Buffalo Chamber Players.
Artists who have performed and commissioned his works include violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, violists Aurélien Pétillot and David Rose, saxophonists Wildy Zumwalt, Michael Hernandez and David Box, trombonists Mark Fisher and Peter Ellefson, trumpeter Christopher Carrillo, vocalists Angela Haas, Joe Dan Haas, Lynn McMurtry, Rebekkah Hilgraves and Aurora Sein, harpists Delaine Fedson and Megan Metheny, flutist Ellen Johnson, and tubist Janet Tracy. His music has been received recognitions by BMI, Down Beat Magazine, Voices of Change, the Austin Civic Orchestra, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra and Manhattan Beach Music. He is currently published by Domesticated Music and C. Alan Publications.
In addition to his work in concert music, Rob has extensive experience as a composer for film, theatre and dance. With over 30 films and documentaries to his credit, his film scores have been heard in the Cannes Film festival, Directors Guilds of America in both Los Angeles and New York, the Festival CineLatino in San Francisco, the Festivale Pan African du Cinema in Ouagadougou, Africa and festivals in Chicago, Austin, San Antonio, Las Vegas and San Diego. As an author, he has co-authored Hearing the Movies: Music and Sound in Film History (OUP)with noted film scholars David Neumeyer and James Buhler.
His work as theatrical composer and sound designer has been produced at the Mark Taper New Works Festival, the California Institute of the Arts and the Skylight and Crown Theatres in Los Angeles and he has worked with such directors as Lisa Peterson, Philip Goodwin, Chris Fields and Tony Abettamarco. Rob teamed up with choreographer David Justin create the American Repertory Ensemble, a radical new performing ensemble that creates unique chamber music and dance experiences which has already given critically-acclaimed performances in Austin, Texas and Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 2006, Deemer began a new project outside of his compositional activities with the creation of a new radio show that focuses on living composers and their music. Entitled The Composer Next Door and originating out of KCSC-FM on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK, this program took an “American Tour” approach with each show exploring the composers who live in a specific city, state or region in the United States. The program was awarded grants through the Kirkpatrick Foundation and has had music donations from over 100 world-class composers.
Deemer holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Texas, a Master of Music in Composition as well as a Performers Certificate in Conducting from Northern Illinois University and an Advanced Certificate in Scoring for Film and Television from the University of Southern California. His instructors have included Dan Welcher, Donald Grantham and Jan Bach and he has participated in individual workshops with John Corigliano, William Bolcom, George Crumb, Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Jerry Goldsmith, Melinda Wagner, Christopher Theofanidis and Christopher Young.
Deemer has held teaching positions at The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University and The University of Texas. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor and Head of Composition in the School of Music at SUNY Fredonia. He is a member of the NYSSMA Composition/Improvisation committee and serves with the College Music Society on the national composition advisory board and as the theory/composition board member of the Northeast Chapter.
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