Carl Schimmel

Carl Schimmel

Carl Schimmel was born in Pensacola, Florida in 1975, and moved to Wakefield, Rhode Island in 1981.    At the age of ten, he began studying piano, and shortly thereafter took up music composition.   His composition studies began with Geoffrey Gibbs at the University of Rhode Island, and at the Cleveland Institute of Music he studied with Jennifer Conner while attending Case Western Reserve University.   In the summer of 1996, he attended the Aspen Music Festival where he studied under George Tsontakis.   He entered the Master's degree program at Yale University in 1997, where he studied with Ezra Laderman, Martin Bresnick, Evan Ziporyn, and Ned Rorem.  He has studied with Sidney Hodkinson and Anthony Kelley at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he is pursuing a doctoral degree in composition.  He is the recipient of the 1999 Bearns Prize from Columbia University for his orchestral work Capa Cocha, and Yale University's 1999 Woods Chandler Memorial Prize for best composition written in a larger form during the year.   His trio Pieces of Eight for English horn, bass clarinet, and bassoon was a finalist in the 2001 Seoul International Composition Competition, and in the fall of 2001 his work Harold and the Purple Crayon was commissioned by the Cross Sound Music Festival in southeastern Alaska.   His work has been performed in New York City, Seoul, Cleveland, New Haven, CT, Wakefield, RI, Sitka, AK, Ketchikan, AK, Juneau, AK, and Aspen, CO.   In a review of the Aulis Collective's New York production of King Lear, for which Schimmel wrote the incidental music, Leonard Jacobs of Backstagecalled the score "scintillating," while Brooke Pierce of wrote: "One of the finest touches is Carl Schimmel's original music....   Schimmel's moody music evokes the period and helps to create an atmosphere of tension, fear, and madness."  

Schimmel also received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Case Western Reserve University, and his interest in math is reflected in much of his music.   Mathematical patterns and forms often form the basis of his work; however, he uses math only as a rough framework to create emotional and accessible pieces of music which do not sound inherently mathematical.   In fact, he frequently draws upon poetry or art for inspiration.   Schimmel's aesthetic style has been influenced primarily by Bartok, Brahms, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Szymanowski.

Commission Information

Towns of Wind and Wood
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