Composer Sid Richardson (b. 1987) writes concert music that imbues modern idioms with emotional grit and cerebral wit. His work explores the intersections of music and literature, drawing inspiration from the works of such writers as Beckett, Catullus, Chaucer, Garréta, Longfellow, Keats, Mackey, Rimbaud, Rossetti, and Shepard to create a style that focuses on harmony and timbre. Pre-existing texts are used to create a metaphorical resonance with the source material in pieces that weave literary elements into formal, rhythmic, and harmonic structures. Sid collaborated with poet Nathaniel Mackey on a setting of selections of Mackey’s sixth collection of poems, Blue Fasa, which would become Red Wind, the cornerstone of Sid’s doctoral dissertation. The work was realized at Duke University in 2017 with Mackey reading his poetry in concert with members of Deviant Septet and soprano Mellissa Hughes. The project informed the two other compositions in Sid’s dissertation portfolio: Bass Cathedral for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, based on Mackey’s novel of the same name, and Red Wind (Desert Remix) for generative software, which presents Red Wind in a dynamic and fluid, generative-media environment.

Sid has collaborated on compositions with artists such as Alsarah & the NubatonesAmarcordBranford MarsalisBill SeamanConrad TaoSusan FancherDa Capo Chamber PlayersDel Sol QuartetDeviant SeptetHeimat Quartet, Sinfonia Salt Lake, and yMusic. He has a predilection for violin music, and has been fortunate to work with a variety of violinists including Lilit Hartunian, Sarah Griffin, Sarah PlumCharlotte Munn-Wood, and Misha Vayman. His recent commissions include works for the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Utah Arts Festival.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Sid recently completed his PhD in the Department of Music at Duke University. He holds degrees from Boston ConservatoryDuke University, and Tufts University. Sid has participated in artist residencies at Crosstown ArtsThe Hermitage Artist Retreat, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2017, The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him a Charles Ives Scholarship. He was the recipient of the 2018 Hermitage Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and School. In the summer of 2019, Sid was the Elliott Carter Memorial Composition Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Active as a music educator, he has taught at Wellesley College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is currently on the composition faculty at New England Conservatory of Music.

Ph.D., M.A., Duke University. M.M., The Boston Conservatory. B.A. in music and classics, magna cum laude, Tufts University. Former faculty at Wellesley College and MIT.