Composer Fred Lerdahl studied at Lawrence University, Princeton, and Tanglewood. He taught at UC/Berkeley, Harvard, and Michigan, and since 1991 he has been at Columbia University, where he is Fritz Reiner Professor of Music. He has received many honors for his music, including the Koussevitzky Composition Prize, awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Commissions have come from the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Spoleto Festival, National Endowment for the Arts, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, and others. Among the organizations that have performed his works are the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Manhattan Sinfonietta, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, eighth blackbird, Speculum Musicae, Collage, Antares, the Juilliard Quartet, the Pro Arte Quartet, Ensemble XXI, Lontano, and the Venice Biennale. He has been in residence at the Marlboro Music Festival, IRCAM, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the American Academy in Rome, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Lerdahl is also prominent as a music theorist. He has written two books, A Generative Theory of Tonal Music (with linguist Ray Jackendoff) and Tonal Pitch Space, both of which model musical listening from the perspective of cognitive science.
Hannah Lash and Fred Lerdahl at the 6th London Festival of American Music