David T. Little is “one of the most imaginative young composers” on the scene, a “young radical” (The New Yorker), with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times). His operas JFK (Fort Worth Opera / Opéra de Montréal), Dog Days (Peak Performances / Beth Morrison Projects), and Soldier Songs (Prototype Festival) have been widely acclaimed, “prov[ing] beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future” (The New York Times).
Recent works include The Conjured Life (Cabrillo Festival Orchestra / Cristian Macelaru), Ghostlight—ritual for six players (eighth blackbird / The Kennedy Center), AGENCY (Kronos Quartet), dress in magic amulets, dark, from My feet (The Crossing / ICE), CHARM (Baltimore Symphony / Marin Alsop), Hellhound (Maya Beiser), Haunt of Last Nightfall (Third Coast Percussion). Little is currently working on a new opera commissioned by the MET Opera / Lincoln Center Theater new works program, and the music-theatre work Artaud in the Black Lodge with Outrider legend Anne Waldman (Beth Morrison Projects). His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, the Holland Festival, the Bang on a Can Marathon, and elsewhere.
Educated at University of Michigan and Princeton, Little is co-founder of the annual New Music Bake Sale, and has served as Executive Director of MATA. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the Director of Composition and Coordinator of New Music at Shenandoah Conservatory, where he is now Distinguished Guest Composer and Senior Lecturer in New Music. In 2015, he joined the composition faculty at Mannes-The New School in New York City. Since 2014, he has served as Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam, Innova, and VIA Records labels. In fall 2016, VIA Records released the world-premiere recording of Dog Days, starring the original cast and Newspeak led by conductor Alan Pierson; the CD was listed as one of NPR’s Best Recordings of 2016. He received a 2017 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.He is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
B.M., Susquehanna University; M.M., University of Michigan; M.F.A., Ph.D., Princeton University
Fields of Expertise:
Music composition, especially opera and music-theatre; presentation, performance and promotion of new music; academic research focuses on the history and theory of political classical music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, though the lens of revolutionary ideologies.