Jack Gallagher

Jack Gallagher

Olive Kettering Professor of Music

Department/Affiliation: Music
Phone: 330-263-2046
Office Address: 208 Scheide


  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Cornell University
  • Master of Music, Cornell University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Hofstra University

Courses Taught

  • MUSC 208: Acoustic Composition
  • MUSC 236: Trumpet
  • MUSC 301: Music Theory V
  • MUSC 305: Orchestration
  • MUSC 308: Acoustic Composition
  • Counterpoint

Biography, Performance, and Research

Jack Gallagher is the Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music at The College of Wooster. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in composition from Cornell University and the bachelor’s degree cum laude from Hofstra University. He studied composition with Elie Siegmeister, Robert Palmer and Burrill Phillips, participated in seminars with Karel Husa, Thea Musgrave and Ned Rorem, and in masterclasses with Aaron Copland, George Crumb and William Bolcom.

Gallagher's works have been performed or recorded by the London Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Krakow, Kiev Philharmonic, South African National Youth String Orchestra, U.S. Air Force Band of Flight, Cincinnati Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Indiana University Wind Ensemble, GRAMMY®-winning pianist Angelin Chang, Trio Terzetto, and others.

In 2015, his Symphony No. 2 “Ascendant,” recorded and released on the Naxos label by the London Symphony conducted by JoAnn Falletta, was acclaimed by Gramophone for its “prodigious energy... melodic fecundity...(and) exuberant inspiration, to say nothing of the breathtaking skill and swaggering confidence with which he handles his forces.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer found it “a work of staggering, unending brilliance.” Hailed by Fanfare magazine as “one of the most powerful and moving symphonic statements I have experienced from a work composed in the 21st century,” the release was awarded five stars by Audiophile Audition, which described the symphony as “Monumental. Some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.”

Orchestral Music, his previous Naxos release recorded at Abbey Road Studios by the same performers, was greeted as “fresh and exuberant” by Gramophone, which noted its “explosions of sound and colour.” Awarded five stars by BBC Music Magazine, the disc was heralded by National Public Radio as “brilliantly orchestrated and impeccably constructed.” Also awarding the disc five stars, Audiophile Audition called his Symphony in One Movement: Threnody “truly a work of genius.” Released in August 2016 on the Centaur label is a disc devoted entirely to Gallagher’s works for piano recorded by Frank Huang at WFMT studios in Chicago. 

Included on 17 published compact discs on the Naxos, Centaur, Musical Heritage Society, Vienna Modern Masters, ERM, Summit, Capstone, Promuse, Beauport Classical and Altissimo labels, his compositions have been broadcast by more than 150 classical radio stations in the U.S. and abroad. The VMM recording of his Berceuse has been broadcast more than 150 times by Colorado Public Radio and more than 50 times over Radio Stephansdom Klassiksender, 107.3 FM, Vienna, Austria.

The recipient in 2016 of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for composition, Gallagher has received awards, grants, fellowships, or recognition from the Charles Ives Center for American Music, Meet the Composer, the Yaddo Corporation, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Petit Jean International Art Song Festival, the Barlow International Composition Contest, the Virginia Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association, and The College of Wooster Henry Luce III Award for Distinguished Scholarship.

As a producer, his recording for TNC Records of Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques with pianist Angelin Chang, conductor John McLaughlin Williams and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony won a 2007 GRAMMY Award in the classical category “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra.”

Gallagher’s composition students include international, national, state and regional winners in competitions including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Composers Award, the Parma Records grand-prize composition award, first and second prizes in the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs collegiate composer awards, full-tuition award-winners at Cornell University and the University of Michigan, four winners of the Moritz von Bomhard Fellowship for full tuition plus stipend at the University of Louisville, seven selections for the Cleveland Chamber Symphony Young and Emerging Composers concerts, two winners of the Heaton Fellowship for full tuition plus stipend at Syracuse University, and assistantships and support at numerous additional graduate institutions.

He teaches Composition, Orchestration, Theory Since 1900, Counterpoint, and Seminar in Music of Living Composers, a course he originated.