Eric T. Nathan Assistant Professor of Music

Eric Nathan's (b. 1983) music has been called "as diverse as it is arresting" by the San Francisco Chronicle, “thoughtful and inventive” by The New Yorker and “engaging, from a voice we will hear more of” by The New York Times. 

Nathan, a 2013 Rome Prize Fellow and 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, has garnered acclaim internationally through performances by Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Boston Musica Viva,  JACK Quartet, American Brass Quintet, A Far Cry and performers including sopranos Dawn Upshaw, Lucy Shelton, Tony Arnold, violinist Jennifer Koh, trombonist Joseph Alessi, pianist Gloria Cheng, and violist Samuel Rhodes. His music has additionally been featured at the New York Philharmonic’s 2014 and 2016 Biennials, Carnegie Hall, Aldeburgh Music Festival, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, Aspen Music Festival, MATA Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, Yellow Barn, Music Academy of the West, 2012 and 2013 World Music Days, Domaine Forget and Louvre Museum.

Recent projects include two commissions from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including a chamber work for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and an orchestral work, "the space of a door," that was premiered by the BSO and conductor Andris Nelsons in November 2016. Nathan has received additional commissions from the New York Philharmonic for its CONTACT! series, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival for the American Brass Quintet, a trio for sopranos Dawn Upshaw, Lucy Shelton and Tony Arnold that premiered at a season opening concert at Merkin Hall, violinist Jennifer Koh for a solo work that premiered at the New York Philharmonic's 2016 Biennial, Boston Musica Viva, and the New York Virtuoso Singers. Nathan has additionally been honored with awards including a Copland House residency, ASCAP’s Rudolf Nissim Prize, four ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, BMI’s William Schuman Prize, Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Leonard Bernstein Fellowship from the Tanlgewood Music Center.

In 2015, Albany Records released a debut CD of Nathan’s solo and chamber music, “Multitude, Solitude: Eric Nathan,” produced by Grammy-winning producer Judith Sherman, featuring the Momenta Quartet, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violist Samuel Rhodes, oboist Peggy Pearson, pianist Mei Rui, and trumpeter Hugo Moreno. (Le) Poisson Rouge presented a CD release concert of Nathan's music in October 2015.

Nathan served as Composer-in-Residence at the 2013 Chelsea Music Festival (New York) and 2013 Chamber Music Campania (Italy). He received his doctorate from Cornell and holds degrees from Yale (B.A.) and Indiana University (M.M.). Nathan served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College in 2014-15, and is currently Assistant Professor of Music in Composition-Theory at the Brown University Department of Music. He has additionally taught composition as a guest faculty member at Yellow Barn's Young Artists Program in 2016. 

Biography current as of 2/17.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

  • Music festivals and concert series: New York Philharmonic Biennial (2014, 2016), Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music (2013), Tanglewood (2010, 2011, 2014), Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, MATA Festival, Louvre Museum, Aldeburgh Music Festival (2011, 2012), Aspen Music Festival (2005, 2009, 2010, 2016), Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, Yellow Barn, Piano Spheres, Chelsea Music Festival, National Gallery of Art (D.C.), World Music Days (2012, 2013), National Sawdust, Chamber Music America, Shanghai Conservatory New Music Week, Banff Centre, Domaine Forget, Nuova Consonanza (Rome), Composers Now Festival, Spark Festival, Music Academy of the West, Cathédrale Notre Dame (Paris)
  • Orchestras: Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, A Far Cry, Aspen Concert Orchestra, National Youth String Orchestra (UK), Youth Orchestra of Prince William, orchestras of Yale, Cornell, Brown, University of Maryland, Juilliard Pre-College, Connecticut College, Dalton School
  • Chamber and new music ensembles: Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New York Virtuoso Singers, JACK Quartet, American Brass Quintet, Boston Musica Viva, Momenta Quartet, Collage New Music, American Modern Ensemble, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Britten-Pears Ensemble, Le Train Bleu, New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program, Syracuse Society for New Music, Mirari Brass Quintet, Melos Ethos Ensemble, Spectra Ensemble, Mirari Brass Quintet
  • Selected Performers: Conductors: Andris Nelsons, Jane Glover, José Serebrier, Toshiyuki Shimada, Shinik Hahm, Robert Trevino; Vocalists: Dawn Upshaw, Lucy Shelton, Tony Arnold; Instrumentalists: Gloria Cheng (piano), Joseph Alessi (trombone), Samuel Rhodes (viola), Roger Tapping (viola), Allan Dean (trumpet), Scott Hartman (trombone) 

research overview

My major research focus is in music composition, both acoustic and electroacoustic, as well as in music theory and history, with a focus on homage in twentieth-century music as well as the music of Hungarian composer György Kurtág. My dissertation, “Homage in the Music of György Kurtág,” analyzes this important Hungarian composer’s music in historical context. In addition, I am a conductor, trumpeter and pianist and perform in classical, jazz and other popular music contexts. 

funded research


  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2014