Repertoire Search


John Corigliano

Born: 1938

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © J. Henry Fair

Short biography (300 words)

John Corigliano's music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world. His honors include the Pulitzer Prize for Symphony No. 2, the Grawemeyer Award for his Symphony No. 1 (given over 300 performances worldwide), the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Original Score (The Red Violin), and, of his five Grammy Awards, three for Best Contemporary Composition (Symphony No. 1, String Quartet, and Mr. Tambourine Man.)

Recent scores include a second opera, The Lord of Cries, with a libretto by Mark Adamo based on The Bacchae of Euripides and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Corigliano's first opera since The Ghosts of Versailles for The Metropolitan Opera in 1991, The Lord of Cries is commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera for premiere in 2021. A new Saxophone Concerto for the San Francisco Symphony's 2020-2021 season will be Corigliano's tenth piece for soloist and orchestra, after his concerti for piano, oboe, clarinet, flute (Pied Piper Fantasy), guitar (Troubadours), violin (The Red Violin), and percussion (Conjurer), as well as the orchestral song-cycles Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan for amplified soprano, and One Sweet Morning for mezzo-soprano. Other scores include Symphony No. 3: Circus Maximus for multiple wind ensembles, as well a rich folio of chamber works.

The French premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, in a co-production with Glimmerglass Festival, is scheduled by the Royal Opera of Versailles for December of 2019; this follows its 2015 staging by Los Angeles Opera, which collected 2017 Grammys for Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Classical album. In spring of 2019, Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 travelled to Hong Kong and returned to the New York Philharmonic, both engagements conducted by Jaap van Zweden.

More information at

Medium biography (400 words)

John Corigliano continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual, and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last fifty years. Corigliano's scores — including three symphonies and nine concerti among over one hundred chamber, vocal, choral, and orchestral works — have been performed and recorded by many of the most prominent musicians in the world. His most recent score, eight years in the making, is for his second opera, The Lord of Cries, with a libretto by Mark Adamo, commissioned and scheduled for premiere in 2021 by the Santa Fe Opera. The Lord of Cries follows One Sweet Morning (2011), for mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and the New York Philharmonic, commissioned for the tenth anniversary of 9/11; Conjurer (2008), for percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and string orchestra; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (The Red Violin) (2005), developed from the score to the François Girard's film of the same name, which won Corigliano the Oscar in 1999; Symphony No. 3: Circus Maximus (2004), scored for wind orchestra and a multitude of wind ensembles; Symphony No. 2 (2001: Pulitzer Prize in Music); and Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (2000) for orchestra and amplified soprano, the recording of which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition in 2008. Earlier scores include String Quartet (1995: Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Composition); Symphony No. 1 (1991: Grawemeyer and Grammy Awards) which has been performed in over 300 engagements worldwide; Clarinet Concerto (1977), commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for Stanley Drucker and Leonard Bernstein; and the opera The Ghosts of Versailles, commissioned and introduced in 1991 by the Metropolitan Opera and awarded the International Classical Music Award for composition the following year. The Ghosts of Versailles was revived at the MET in 1994 and subsequently performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ireland's Wexford Festival (in a co-production with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis,) Germany's Hannover Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Los Angeles Opera, whose recording won a Grammy for Best Opera Recording of 2017. He is now at work on a saxophone concerto, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and scheduled for premiere in January 2021.

One of the few living composers to have a string quartet named for him, Corigliano serves on the composition faculty at the Juilliard School of Music and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York. More information is available at

John Corigliano — Living the Classical Life

Close X

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to keep up to date with the latest news and special offers from Wise Music Classical.
Your data is secure and you can unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2020 Wise Music Classical. Part of Wise Music Group.