Jack Gallagher

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

Courses Taught

  • MUSC 208: Acoustic Composition
  • 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.

Called "an American master" by Fanfare magazine, Gallagher has had works 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.

His Symphony No. 2 "Ascendant," recorded and released on the Naxos label by the London Symphony conducted by JoAnn Falletta, was acclaimed by Gramophone (UK) for its "prodigious energy. . . exuberant inspiration . . . (and) breathtaking skill." The Cleveland Plain Dealer found it "a work of staggering, unending brilliance." Hailed by Fanfare magazine as "one of the ten greatest such works ever written by an American composer," the disc 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 described his Symphony in One Movement: Threnody as "truly a work of genius."

Released in 2017 on the Centaur label is a disc devoted entirely to Gallagher's works for piano, recorded at WFMT studios in Chicago by Juilliard-trained pianist Frank Huang. It, too, was awarded five stars by Audiophile Audition.

Included on 19 published compact discs on the Naxos, Centaur, Musical Heritage Society, Vienna Modern Masters, ERM, Summit, Capstone, Promuse, Aliud, Beauport Classical, and Altissimo labels, his compositions have been broadcast by more than 150 classical radio stations in the U.S. and abroad. The Vienna Modern Masters recording of his Berceuse has been broadcast more than 200 times by Colorado Public Radio and more than 50 times by Radio Stephansdom Klassiksender, 107.3 FM, Vienna, Austria.

The recipient of a 2016 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 such as the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards; the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Composers Award; the 2017/2019 Sackler Composition Prize of the University of Connecticut; the 2017 first annual ACF CONNECT program of the American Composers Forum and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; the 2016 New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Edward T. Cone Composition Institute; the Parma Records grand-prize composition award; Second Prize in the 2016 Robert Avalon International Competition in Houston; 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 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 fellowships, assistantships, and support at numerous additional graduate institutions.

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