Pierce Gradone

“It’s a rare thing to see citizens of a city gather together to exhibit and celebrate contemporary music. It speaks to the sense of community that has developed in Chicago, as well as the intense commitment to excellence and innovation among Chicago’s composers, musicians, and administrators.”

Pierce Gradone’s music has been heard throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Drawing inspiration from disparate sources including visual art, literary theory, popular culture, and Western music history, his work seeks to situate notions of groove, glitch, and virtuosity within a modernist tradition. As an orchestral and chamber musician, he enjoys working closely with musicians to collaboratively craft works that facilitates gratifying artistic experiences for performers and, consequently, their audience. 

His music been performed by Ensemble Dal Niente, Line Upon Line Percussion,Ursa Ensemble, the Sacramento Youth Symphony, the Parhelion Trio, Concert Black, the McCain Duo, the Peterson/Hayes Duo, and the new music ensembles of the University of Chicago, University of Texas and Florida State University. His music has also been featured on the Red Note Festival, Florida State University Festival of New Music, Artosphere Festival, and the Great American Brass Band Festival. As both a composer and educator, he has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Sacramento Youth Symphony and as a guest composer at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Pierce is an performer of new music on the double bass, premiering multiple works by living composers as both a soloist and member of various ensembles. 

A Florida native, Pierce holds degrees in composition from Florida State University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Ellen Zwilich, Clifton Callender and Dan Welcher. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago where he studies with Augusta Read Thomas and Anthony Cheung.