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. He is also the co-director of Composers' Concordance, a new music presenting organization with a 30 year history of producing cocnert in NYC. 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 Camerata, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Brooklyn, Shanghai and Berlin Philharmonics, Sinfonietta Riga, Orchester des Pfalztheaters, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Anhaltische Philharmonie as well as such soloists such as Anne Akiko Meyers, Lara St. John, Sarah Chang, Kathleen Supové, 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’.

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: Co-director of Composers Concordance & Composers Concordance Records, co-founder/guitarist of Absolute Ensemble and artist-in residence at 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 Classical and Capstone record labels.

2015-2016 Highlights:

  • In January 2015 premiere of 'Migrational' a beat box and Di.J. concerto, Indra Tedjasukmana - beat boxer, Gene - Di.j. and the MDR chamber orchestra, at Schaubühne in Leipzig, Germany
  • In July of 2015, The MDR Symphony premiered a new concerto for Beat Boxer and orchestra; “Migration’ with the female world champion beat boxer Bellatrix, in Leipzig, Germany at Werk II - Kulturfabrik. As well as a performance of the orchestral piece '40 Changing Orbits' in June at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany.
  • The release of the Chamber opera 'Manhattan in Charcoal' on poetry/libretto of Jacob Miller on Composers Concordance Records (5/15) "a new work of real importance, a chamber opera that stands out as exemplary for our times..”- Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Review, April 2015. “Gene Pritsker is a composer of dazzling invention”…"this opera will grab you, often put a twist in your gut and every once in a while leave you breathless." - JazzdaGama July 2015
  • Premiere performance of Gene’s orchestration of the Kurt Weill opera ‘Johnny Johnson’ at the Kurt Weill Festival 2015, with Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Sinfonieorchester directed and acted by Bernhard Bettermann 
  • ‘Flammenschrift A Fanfare for the Natives of this Earth’ for orchestra. To be premiered in October as the opening of the 2015 Impuls Festival in Halle, Germany  by the Staatskapelle Halle, as well as a repeat performance of the composition in Dec by The Anhaltische Philharmonie at the Bauhaus, in Dessau, Germany
  • Premiere of 'Venial' for percussion quartet by the NJ Percussion Ensemble at Composers Concordance 5th annual Generation  concert
  • Composers Concordance presents ‘Multi Band’ for its 5th annual festival. 5 concerts in one week focusing on bands, groups, ensembles. Gene has a premiere in each concert, including a performance by Sound Liberation.
  • Lead orchestrator for: The Netflix series 'Sense 8'  (directed by Lana & Andy Wachowski). The film Hologram for a King, starring Tom Hanks, (directed by T. Tykwer). The film 6 Miranda Drive, starring Kevin Bacon (directed by G. Mclean)
  • Presenting a concert of Gene’s music at the 2015 Outreach Festival in Schwaz Austria ‘Eclectic chamber Music’. Premiere of ‘Suite #1’ for violin and piano, ‘Priest’ from ‘Heavy Metal in the 80’s’ for solo piano, A new trio for violin, electric guitar and piano called ‘Absorbeat’, as well as performances of other pieces.
  • Presenting a concert of Gene’s music at the 2015 Drayton Harbor Festival in Blaine, WA. Premiering various music for a chamber ensemble. Including: ‘Mourning’, ‘Schubert Freeze Blues’ and ‘Canon - Speak Your Mind’.
  • Composers Concordance 2015-’16 Season includes 16 concerts. Gene will have a premiere at each of these. Including choral, big band, chamber orchestra concerts, a solo violin concert at LPR with Tim Fain and a William Paterson University concert titled ‘The Love Project’ - Gene’s ‘Open Arms Could Still Define a Home’ for chamber ensemble. DJ and video is premiered.
  • ’40 Changing Orbits’ performed by the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg Kristjan Jarvi, conductor.

This instructor is currently teaching the following classes:

Creating Music with Technology – Focus on Hip-Hop / Ages 15+