Recognized by The Chicago Tribune as “a major talent,” composer Larry Thomas Bell has been awarded the Rome Prize, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Charles Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and grants from the American Music Center, the American Symphony Orchestra League, and Meet the Composer. He has been a resident composer at Bennington College, the Woodstock/Fringe Festival, the American Academy in Rome, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, The Rivers School, the Hartt School, and the MacDowell Colony.
Bell’s music has been widely performed in the United States and abroad by such orchestras and ensembles as the Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, RAI Orchestra of Rome, Juilliard Philharmonia, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Ruse Philharmonia (Bulgaria), Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, University of Miami Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, ÖENM (Salzburg Mozarteum), Boston Chamber Music Society, Speculum Musicae, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, Borromeo String Quartet, NEC’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, North/South Consonance, and Music Today (NYC), as well as at festivals in Ravinia, Aspen, Valencia (Spain), Pontino (Italy), San Salvador, Russia (Moscow Autumn), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Australia, New Zealand, Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), and the Boston Early Music Festival fringe concerts.
The Juilliard String Quartet premiered Bell’s First String Quartet, written when the composer was only twenty-one. His music has been commissioned and performed by a distinguished array of performers including cellists Eric Bartlett, Joel Krosnick, Andrés Dìaz, and Sam Ou, violinist Ayano Ninomiya, pianists Sara Davis Buechner and Jonathan Bass, singers D’Anna Fortunato, Robert Honeysucker, Matthew DiBattista, and Phil Lima, and conductors Jorge Mester, Gerard Schwarz, Gil Rose, and Benjamin Zander. Sixteen recordings of Bell’s works appear on North/South Recordings, Vienna Modern Masters, New England Conservatory Recordings, Arabesque, and Albany Records.
As a pianist Bell performs his music regularly and has championed works by American composers. He has given recitals throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, Austria, and Japan. Bell gave the European premiere of Persichetti’s Parable and has recorded Persichetti’s Piano Miniatures (on Arabesque), as well as performed as soloist on CDs of his own Piano Concerto and Piano Sonata and as an assisting artist on numerous recordings including River of Ponds (the complete cello music with Eric Bartlett), The Book of Moonlight (the complete violin music with Ayano Ninomiya), Larry Bell Vocal Music (with D’Anna Fortunato), and a two-disc CD In a Garden of Dreamers of vocal and instrumental music.
His fully staged opera, Holy Ghosts, is available at a website devoted to it: www.HolyGhoststheopera.com. Baritone Philip Lima sings a major role.
Bell received his DMA from The Juilliard School, working in composition with Vincent Persichetti and Roger Sessions, in solfège with Renée Longy, piano with Joseph Bloch and with Joseph Rollino privately in Rome. Visit his website at www.LarryBellmusic.com.
Photo by Andrew Hurlbut