My Bio

About the composer

I try to draw the listener into an engaging sound world using a variety of compositional techniques, choosing the most effective methods to communicate with the audience. 

Me (age 17) and a friend from Brooklyn.

 My most recent works are the result of collaborations with other artists. Bottom Dog for two bass clarinets and contrabass clarinet was written for Richard Nunemaker. The music portrays the chance meeting of three dogs in the park. Slithery chromaticism, biting harmonies and intricate counterpoint relate a humorous tale of a chance encounter between the canines. Unique tone colors and lyrical melodies in The Egret in the Living Room complement the grace and delicacy of Elina Mooney’s dance. The piece experiments with sound and timbral possibilities between the flute, clarinet, violin and violoncello.

At times I borrow from other traditions. Yiddish Choruses sets folksongs for SATB a cappella chorus. The five movements express humor, tenderness, and passion through an extended tonal language. Other works reflect my interest in Africa, Asian Indian, and Native American music. 

Jody Rockmaker is the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright grant, a Barlow Endowment Commission, two BMI awards for young composers, an ASCAP grant, the George Whitefield Chadwick Medal from New England Conservatory, and a National Orchestral Association Reading Fellowship.  He taught at Stanford University prior to accepting his position at Arizona State University in 1997.

Boring academic version: 

Milton Babbitt and Jody Rockmaker, 1983.

Jody Rockmaker (born 1961, New York City) received his Ph.D. in Composition from Princeton University. He has studied at the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. His principal teachers have been Erich Urbanner, Edward T. Cone, Milton Babbitt, Claudio Spies, Malcolm Peyton and Miriam Gideon. Dr. Rockmaker is also the recipient of numerous awards including a Barlow Endowment Commission, Fulbright Grant, two BMI Awards for Young Composers, an ASCAP Grant, the George Whitefield Chadwick Medal from New England Conservatory, and a National Orchestral Association Orchestral Reading Fellowship. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and Villa Montalvo, and has been a Composition Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center. He taught at Stanford University and is currently an Associate Professor at Arizona State University School of Music.

Copyright ©2011 by Jody Rockmaker