Board of Reference
Dr. Bruce Saylor
Dr. Bruce Saylor is the composer of symphonies, concertos, chamber music, songs, and large scale choral pieces, many of which have been commissioned and performed by major opera companies, orchestras, chamber ensembles and at music festivals around the world. A native of Philadelphia, Bruce Saylor received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Hugo Weisgall and Roger Sessions. Under a Fulbright grant, he studied with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. From 1992–1994 he was the Brena and Lee Freeman Composer in Residence at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he composed Orpheus Descending based on a play by Tennessee Williams. He wrote two choral pieces for the visit to New York City of Pope John Paul II in 1995, and he composed original music and carol settings for two best selling CDs of Jessye Norman. He was asked by Ms. Norman to write the Inauguration Day cantata O Freedom! which she sang at President Clinton’s Second Inaugural in 1997. In 2000, he premiered chorus and orchestra pieces for Franklin and Marshall College, The Dedham Choral Society, and the Riverside Symphonia. He is at work on chorus and orchestra pieces for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Incontri di Musica Sacra Contemporanea in Rome. Dr. Saylor has taught at Juilliard, at New York University, and is currently a professor of composition at Queens College and at the City University of New York Graduate School. Among his more than thirty awards in his field are two National Endowment for the Arts fellowship-grants, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship, and many other prizes from Juilliard, the Charles E. Ives Scholarship and later the Music Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Composition Prize from the National Society of Arts and Letters, two Mellon Foundation grants, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a major award for composition from the Ingram Merrill Foundation.