Gene Pritsker

Composer/guitarist/rapper/Di.J. Gene Pritsker has written over five hundred compositions, including chamber operas, orchestral and chamber works, electro-acoustic music and songs for hip-hop and rock ensembles. All of his compositions employ an eclectic spectrum of styles and are influenced by his studies of various musical cultures.

He is the founder and leader of Sound Liberation; an eclectic hip hop-chamber-jazz-rock-etc. ensemble who have released cd's on Col-legno, Composers Concordance and  Innova Records. Gene's music has been performed all over the world at various festivals and by many ensembles and performers, including the Adelaide Symphony, MDR Symphony, The Athens Camarata, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Brooklyn, Shanghai and Berlin Philharmonic, Sinfonietta Riga, Orchester des Pfalztheaters, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Anhaltische Philharmonie as well as such soloists as Anne Akiko Meyers, Lara St. John, Kathleen Supove, Martin Kuuskmann and Simone Dinnerstein. He has worked closely with Joe Zawinul and has orchestrated major Hollywood movies, Including Cloud Atlas, for which he wrote additional music and composed his Cloud Atlas Symphony, to be released in 2014.

The New York Times described him as "...audacious...multitalented." Joseph Pehrson, writing in The Music Connoisseur, described Pritsker as "dissolving the artificial boundaries between high brow, low brow, classical, popular musics and elevates the idea that if it's done well it is great music, regardless of the style or genre." Raul d'Gama Rose writes in All About Jazz: "Barring the obvious exceptions, much of 21st century composition appears to be thinning in significance, but this might be about to change. Gene Pritsker is one of a very spare handful of composers effecting this change." Evan Burke writes in ICareIf YouListen: "Pritsker seems to look at all music as one genre, in which all other possible styles, sounds and traditions are meant to be used as building blocks and palette colors, combined in various configurations to create a boundless whole. This result is almost always more interesting, and representative of how most new music will be born in the 21st century, as genres and barriers begin to vanish, and as styles begin cross-fertilizing in previously unimagined ways." Classical Music Sentinel writes: "His expressive reach is so wide as to encompass everything from ethno/techno, rock/jazz fusion, classical opera and more, and it all seems to be effortlessly integrated within his anima and comes out through different facets of his persona. You could almost see him as a modern day renaissance man."

Organizations he is associated with include: Composers' Concordance, Composers' Concordance Records, Absolute Ensemble and the Austrian Outreach Festival. Gene Pritsker's music is published by: Falls House Press, Gold Branch Music, Periferia Sheet Music & Calabrese Brothers. Music recorded on: Col Legno, Enja, Eutrepe, Wergo, Innova, Composers' Concordance Records, SONY and Capstone record labels.

2013-2014 ('15) Highlights:

  • In January and July of 2015, The MDR Symphony will premiere a new concerto for Beat Boxer and orchestra with the former female world champion beat boxer Bellatrix, in Leipzig, Germany. As well as perform 40 Changing Orbits in June.
  • New Chamber piece featuring violinist Vessko Gellev and Gene as Di.J; Mind, I have a Question for You, premiered on the Absolute Ensemble 'Absolute Korea' Tour Five concerts in Oct. 2014, with guest soloist Sarah Chang, which will premiere other compositions and arrangements of Gene
  • Cloud Atlas Symphony performed around the world by Kristjan Jarvi and various orchestras including Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and Yokohama, and the MDR orchestra in Leipzig.
  • Breadth of Rhetoric for bassoon and orchestra premiered on August 5th 2014 by Martin Kuuskmann - bassoon and The Orchestra of St. Luke's at the at International Double Reed Society 2014 conference at NYU.
  • Release of the the piano concerto Reinventions on Sony Records with Simone Dinnerstein and the Absolute Ensemble, K. Jarvi, conductor.
  • The release of the Chamber opera Manhattan in Charcoal on poetry/libretto of Jacob Miller on Composers Concordance Records (2015)
  • Composers Concordance launches its 30th Season in Sep 2014. Included in the many concerts is the five concerts in one week ‘Anniversaries Festival’, Gene will have five premieres on the festival including a new double concerto for trumpet, bass trombone and string orchestra, with soloist Franz Hackl And David Taylor
  • Release of the album Samplestra on Composers Concordance Records, focusing on electro-acoustic compositions - Two CD release concerts for the album - one at DROM in NYC the second at Outreach Festival in Schwaz, Austria
  • Ensemble KONTRASTE performs the piano concerto Reinventions throughout the year
  • The orchestral piece 40 Changing Orbits and a movement from the new violin concerto Variations on Japanese Melodies performed at the Parnu Music Festival in Estonia by the Riga Sinfonietta with Anne Akiko Meyers - violin and Kristjan Jarvi conducting
  • Sound Liberation premieres the 45 min. The Rite of Spring Through an Eclectic Spectrum at the Cutting Room in NYC
  • Absolute Ensemble performs Reinventions with Simone Dinnerstein the Bach Festival in Leipzig Germany
  • Folk Rhetoric performed by Martin Kuuskmann - bassoon and Neeme Jarvi - conductor with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande  Bâtiment des Forces Motrices - Salle Théodore Turrettini, Geneva on the 16th and in Théâtre de Beaulieu, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Pianist Kai Schumacher premieres The Cloud Atlas Fantasy with the Orchester des Pfalztheaters Kaiserslautern
  • Orchestrating the Netflix series "Sense 8" (directed by Lana & Andy Wachowski), Orchestrating and have original music in the new film Hologram for a King, starring Tom Hanks, (directed by Tom Tykwer), Orchestrating the new film 6 Miranda Drive, starring Kevin Bacon (directed by Greg Mclean)
  • The release of the album Days by Sound Liberation on Composers Concordance Records
  • Producing The Composers Concordance Festival: Timber Tantrum in Dec 2013, Six concerts in one week. Gene has a composition on each.