Innovators and entrepreneurs are used to going it alone, but does it have to be that way? Composer Judd Greenstein wonders how we might create an institutional support system for forward-thinking artists.
Artist: Judd Greenstein
Judd Greenstein is a composer of structurally complex, viscerally engaging works for varied instrumentation. A passionate advocate for the independent new music community across the United States, much of Judd’s work is written for the virtuosic ensembles and solo performers who make up that community and is tailored to their specific talents and abilities.
Judd’s philosophy as both a composer and a curator involves music that is an organic blend of multiple styles, sounds, and instruments, open to all influences. Standout groups that reflect this “post-genre” sensibility, including yMusic, Roomful of Teeth, and NOW Ensemble, all counted Judd among their earliest commissions and continue to perform his work to this day. As a national and international audience has taken notice of these and other like-minded artists, Judd has been increasingly in demand as a composer for the orchestra and the stage, with recent commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony, among many others. Current projects attest to the diversity of Judd’s output: an orchestral song cycle for indie rock vocalist DM Stith, an opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, and an evening-length adaption of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival for the Minnesota Children’s Theater.
In addition to his work as a composer, Judd is active as a promoter of new music in New York and around the world. He is the co-director of New Amsterdam Records/New Amsterdam Presents, an artists’ service organization that supports post-genre musicians through the development of performances and new recordings. He is the curator of the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York’s Merkin Hall, an annual showcase of new collaborative concerts between artists from different musical worlds, and he is a founding member of NOW Ensemble, the composer/performer collective that develops new chamber music for their idiosyncratic instrumentation. In 2014, he co-curated the first Apples & Olivesfestival in Zurich, Switzerland, bringing to Europe the post-genre ethos of the Ecstatic Music Festival and New Amsterdam.
Judd has received degrees from Williams College, the Yale School of Music, and Princeton University, and has received Fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center, the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, and the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab.
New Amsterdam Records
Ecstatic Music Festival
Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
First Music Commission from the New York Youth Symphony
Morton Gould Young Composer Award from the ASCAP Foundation
(in progress) | PhD
Yale School of Music
Judd Greenstein is the quintessential 21st Century Musician. Balancing a career as both a composer and the co-director of New Amsterdam Records, among other artistic pursuits, he is a tireless advocate for new music and the development of young artists. 21CM asked Greenstein how an aspiring musician can thrive artistically and build a career in today’s competitive landscape.