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Philip Lasser

Philip Lasser


Philip Lasser’s music is poetry in sound. Direct and undisguised, his music takes the listener on a voyage in time and memory. Seeking content over form, expression over style, Lasser composes elegantly for piano, voice, choir, orchestra, solo instruments and chamber ensembles. Currently, his concerto for piano and orchestra, “The Circle and the Child,” is featured on the Sony Classical CD “Broadway-Lafayette,” with Simone Dinnerstein and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kristjan Järvi.
Standing apart from modernist trends, Lasser has devoted himself to the refinement of personal expression through economy of gesture and colorful harmony. As a young child, Philip Lasser began composing songs for his mother to sing. At sixteen, he entered Nadia Boulanger’s famed Ecole d’Arts Americaines in Fontainebleau, France, and his musical ear was forever changed. There, he met the legendary pianist Gaby Casadesus with whom he formed a long musical relationship. Following studies at Harvard College, where he graduated summa cum laude, Lasser lived in Paris from 1985 – 1988, a pivotal period for his musical development, working with Boulanger’s closest colleague and disciple, Narcis Bonet.

In 1988, Lasser entered Columbia University’s master’s program in composition and undertook intensive studies in counterpoint with René Leibowitz’s disciple, Jacques-Louis Monod, thus forging a seamless link between the French world of musical color and the great German tradition of linear contrapuntal development. Two years later, Lasser joined the DMA program at The Juilliard School where he studied with David Diamond.
Since 1994, Lasser has been a distinguished member of the faculty of The Juilliard School. He is also the director of the European American Musical Alliance Summer Music Programs, a school dedicated to training young composers, chamber musicians, and conductors in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger.
Lasser was born in New York City and makes his home there today with his family. He is the author of “The Spiraling Tapestry: An Inquiry into the Contrapuntal Fabric of Music,” which brings new insights into the world of musical analysis. Philip Lasser has received numerous awards, commissions, and invitations to lecture and conduct master classes across the United States and the world.

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