Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer of operatic, orchestral, chamber, electroacoustic, and multimedia works. Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble] and full-time Lecturer in Composition, Theory, and Electronic Music at Mahidol University's College of Music in Thailand, his works have been described as "an unearthly collage of sounds", "sharply-edged", and "free jazz gone wrong". Commissioned and performed internationally by conductors and ensembles such as Brad Lubman, James Baker, Alan Pierson, Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Marc Lowenstein, Ulrich Pöhl, Alarm Will Sound (USA), Talea Ensemble (USA), Ensemble Interface (Germany), Ensemble Nikel (Israel), Ensemble Linea (France), Insomnio Ensemble (Netherlands), EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble (UK), Slagwerk Den Haag (Netherlands), Eklekto Percussion (Switzerland), Mivos Quartet (USA), Iktus Percussion (USA), the [Switch~ Ensemble] (USA), The Industry, wild Up, OSSIA, the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble (USA), and BlueWater Chamber Orchestra (USA), among others. One of five composers under 30 nominated for the 2015 Gaudeamus Prize, his works were presented by Insomnio, New European Ensemble, and Slagwerk Den Haag at Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September 2015.

    Scenes from his Multimedia Opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt (2014) with Ensemble Interface, The Industry's FIRST TAKE in L.A. (2015) with wild Up, and the MATA Interval Series in New York City with the [Switch~ Ensemble]. L.A. Times critic Mark Swed writes: "Hunger is a kind of training session in mental disintegration... An ungodly opera needs ugly music, singers who produce primal sounds, an electric guitar that sounds scraped raw, a wailing orchestra effects, cuts the ear like a knife. Buchanan delivers."


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[Curriculum Vitae] [Media Portfolio]
(updated Jan.02.17) (updated Jan.02.17)

contact: jasontbuchanan {at} gmail.com

    Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg (DE) as a visiting scholar, he was recently selected for a fellowship and commission for the Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles for Talea & Exaudi (2016) and as a 2015 Artist-in-Residence by USF Verftet and the City Council of Bergen, Norway, with a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation. Honors and awards include commissions from Gaudeamus Muziekweek and Slagwerk Den Haag (NL), Eklekto Percussion (CV), the NY Virtuoso Singers, a commission from the International Horn Society and ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2015) for Double Concerto (2014), written for the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman, an ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2014) and Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize (2014) for Asymptotic Flux: Second Study in Entropy (2013), commissions from the Mizzou International Composers Festival for Alarm Will Sound, the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer (2014), the Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel Aviv) with Ensemble Nikel, and from Chamber Music Campania (Italy) as composer-in-residence (2014), as well as winner of both the newEar 4th Annual Composer's Competition (2013) and selection at the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival (2014) for Asymptotic Flux: First Study in Entropy, co-commissioned by the [Switch~ Ensemble] & OSSIA, and 2nd place American Prize (2012) for Berlin Songs, commissioned by the German/American Fulbright-Kommission and premiered at the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) during the European Fulbright Conference.

    Primary mentors have included Pierluigi Billone, Raphaël Cendo, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, and Georges Aperghis, among others.     Jason has previously served as assistant conductor for Eastman's Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman, and Graduate Teaching Assistant/Course Instructor for the Eastman Computer Music Center, as well as a board member of OSSIA as a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music. He holds degrees in Composition and Music Technology from San José State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught courses in composition and theory (2008-2010).

    Current projects include the multimedia opera Hunger with libretto by award-winning poet Darcie Dennigan, a series of miniatures for percussion and electronics commissioned by Peter Ferry (Chicago, 2017), the Riot Ensemble (UK, Feb.2017), and consortium, a commission for the Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (France, Sep.2017), a new work for Talea commissioned by the Earle Brown Music Foundation to be premiered at the Time Spans Festival (NYC, Aug.2017), and a quintet commissioned by the FÜNF+FÜNF Contrabass Clarinet and Percussion Festival in Berlin (Germany, Oct.2017).