Setnor School of Music
Professor, Music Composition, Theory, and History
Andrew Waggoner was born in 1960 in New Orleans. He grew up there and in Minneapolis and Atlanta and studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the Eastman School of Music, and Cornell University. Called “the gifted practitioner of a complex but dramatic and vividly colored style” by the New Yorker, his music has been commissioned and performed by the Academy of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Saint Louis, Denver, Syracuse, and Winnipeg Symphonies; the Cassatt, Corigliano, Miro, and Degas Quartets; the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; the California EAR Unit; pianist Gloria Cheng; violist Melia Watras; 'cellist Robert Burkhart; the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic of Zlin, Czech Republic; Sequitur; the Empyrean Ensemble; Buglisi-Foreman Dance; the Athabasca Trio; CELLO; Flexible Music; Ensemble Nordlys, of Denmark; and Ensemble Accroche Note of France.
In 2009, Waggoner received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also received grants and prizes from ASCAP, Yaddo, the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, New Music Delaware, and the Eastman School of Music. He won the Lee Ettelson Composer’s Award from Composers Inc. in 2004 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. In 2007 he was awarded the Roger Sessions Prize for an American composer by the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy, and was in residence at Bogliasco in the spring of 2008.
Waggoner has two CDs on CRI, both now available on the New World label, and can also be heard on the Vienna Modern Masters Music From Six Continents series, as well as on solo CDs by violist Melia Watras and ‘cellist Robert Burkhart. In addition to his concert works, Waggoner has also composed extensively for theater and for film and is an active violinist. He was a founding director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music in Vinalhaven, Maine, and is currently composer-in-residence at the Setnor School of Music, teaching regularly also at NOCCA Riverfront in New Orleans. With his wife, the ‘cellist Caroline Stinson, he has recently formed Open End, giving concerts over the past three seasons in New York, Syracuse, Strasbourg, and Florence. Waggoner’s music is available through MMB and Subito Music; more information is available on his website.
"...one of two notable world premieres here, alongside Andrew Waggoner’s ‘La Folie (Fantasme on a Ground).’ This is music at once viscerally charged and intellectually curious — curious as in strangely compelling and actively, restlessly searching. The piece morphs and folds over itself, unveiling a series of ideas, interests and aspects of what the composer calls the “continuous variation.” It’s a wild ride, in other words, but with self-assurance and dignity beneath the sometimes crazed and Messiaenic surfaces." -Los Angeles Times
"Andrew Waggoner's ‘Collines parmi étoiles...’ lives up to its Messiaenesque title, conjuring vast vistas of sound." -The Strad