Chandler Carter Composer

Chandler Carter’s works — which include over 50 songs, choral, chamber and orchestral works and three operas — have been performed throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe by numerous distinguished recitalists and ensembles. He has received several awards and honors, including two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and prizes for his Mass, Symphony for Winds and Canticle I for tenor and orchestra.

Carter is one of a select few composers to have two operas — Strange Fruit in 2003 and No Easy Walk to Freedom in 2009 — selected by New York City Opera for their annual VOX showcase of new works. The staged premiere of Strange Fruit in 2007 was hailed by critics as a “stunner of an opening performance” for Long Leaf’s inaugural summer festival in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Critics also applauded No Easy Walk to Freedom, as a “compelling musical recounting” of Nelson Mandela’s life that reveals the composer’s “true genius and courage.” The concert premiere of this opera in 2000 was featured at the Hofstra Cultural Center’s international conference “Contemporary Opera at the Millennium,” for which Carter served as co-director. No Easy Walk to Freedom received its fully-staged premiere at The Riverside Church in New York City in 2001. Carter is composing another staged-work, Mercury Falling for tenor and dancer, to be premiered at the 2009 Long Leaf Opera summer Festival.

Carter’s chamber music ranges from conventional ensembles to novel instrumental combinations and has been performed by numerous groups, including the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Quintet of the Americas , the Latin American Wind Quintet, Holzbläser, Galatea, the Hofstra String Quartet and Downtown Music Productions. Professional orchestras, including the Denver Chamber Orchestra and the Westchester Philharmonic, as well as student and community orchestras have programmed his music. His original choral music and choral arrangements are performed regularly by notable choruses, including the Riverside Choir in New York City.

Chandler Carter is an associate professor of music at Hofstra University. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the City University of New York, where he studied with Thea Musgrave and David Del Tredici and received the 1995 Barry Brook award for best music dissertation. Carter also holds master’s degrees in composition and vocal performance from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina. He lives in New York City.

Awards & Honors

New York City Opera VOX: Showcasing American Composers (2003 & 2009)

National Endowment for the Arts Grants (1994 & 1995)

Winner, Cambridge Singers Composition Competition

Winner, Holzbläser Composition Award

Winner, Bucks County Symphony Orchestra Composer's Project

Meet the Composer Grants


Strange Fruit
(Long Leaf Opera)

Conversation Piece
(Da Capo Chamber Players)

Shouts, faces, cities
and lonely roads

(Denver Chamber & Westchester Philharmonic Orchestras)

Stuck in Grand Central
(Hofstra University New Music Ensemble)

Glory to God in the Highest
(Choir of the Riverside Church, New York City)

Wind Symphony
(Holzbläser Ensemble)