Hailed by the New York Times as “perhaps the most important jazz composer of his generation,” Henry Threadgill has been celebrated for over forty years as one of the most original, forward-thinking composers and multi-instrumentalists in American music. His four-movement work, In for a Penny, In for a Pound, received the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2016, one of only three jazz compositions to ever be so honored.
A Chicago native, Mr. Threadgill studied at the city’s American Conservatory of Music, majoring in composition, piano, and flute. A Vietnam veteran, he performed with the U.S. Army Concert Band. Mr. Threadgill is an early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), dedicated to the performance of its members’ original music. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Aaron Copland Award, and the Doris Duke Impact Award. Down Beat magazine’s International Jazz Critics Poll has five times distinguished him with its Best Composer Award. The Jazz Journalists Association honored him with its 2002 Composer of the Year Award and its Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Threadgill has released over thirty critically acclaimed albums.
Mr. Threadgill’s orchestral pieces, 1987’s Run Silent, Run Deep, Run Loud, Run and 1993’s Mix for Orchestra premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His many commissions include Mordine & Co. Dance Theater, Carnegie Hall, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Talujon Percussion Ensemble, Junge Philharmonic Salzburg Orchestra, the Biennale di Venezia, and the American Composers Orchestra. He has been composer-in-residence at University of California-Berkeley and the Atlantic Center of the Arts. Through the years, Mr. Threadgill has led, performed, and recorded with numerous groups, most recently Zooid and the Double Up Ensemble. In 2015, a two-day festival at New York’s Harlem Stage celebrated works spanning Mr. Threadgill’s career performed and reinterpreted by an all-star collection of musicians.