"How It's Musically Made" Podcast

A podcast with Maggie Hinchliffe

"How it’s Musically Made" is a podcast focused on the reinvention of the art song tradition through interdisciplinary collaborations. Over nine weeks, three groups of poet, composer, vocalist, and pianist will each collaborate to create an original art song. Hosted by pianist Maggie Hinchliffe and composer Ben Morris, the podcast is a look into each step of the creative process through weekly interviews. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research at the Eastman School of Music.

Washington National Opera American Opera Initiative Commission

The Washington National Opera paired Ben with librettist and playwright Laura Fuentes to create a new opera for their American Opera Initiative Program. The work will be premiered at the Kennedy Center in 2021.

New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission

Ben received a commission from the New York Youth Symphony to compose a new big band chart for the 2020-2021 season, to be premiered in NYC and at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Playground Ensemble Commission

The Playground Ensemble will perform Ben's A (Short) Story of Earth for their Colorado Composer's Concert in February 2021. The ensemble also commissioned Ben to write a new work for their 2021 season. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the premiere's date is to be determined. 

Downbeat Award

for "Ymir's Bones"

Ymir's Bones won a best graduate composition award in the 2020 Downbeat Student Music Awards.

Colorado State Music Teacher's Association Commission

Ben will compose a new work on commission for the Colorado State Music Teacher's Association, to be premiered in May 2020.

Red Note New Music Festival

Ben composed Smear Frame for the NOW Ensemble as part of the Red Note Music Festival in Normal, Illinois in February 2020. 

Song Cycle Premiere at Eastman School of Music

Pianist Maggie Hinchliffe and soprano Ali Rose Hotz will premiere Ben's song cycle Routine Surprise, with original text by Maggie. Postponed due to COVID-19.

Pendulum New Music Concerts

Morris has music featured on the Pendulum New Music series at the University of Colorado Boulder, including the premiere of A (Short) Story of Earth by the Boulder Altitude Directive Ensemble.

Newport Jazz Festival 2019

Morris will lead a new quintet on the Storyville Stage, featuring Juan Gabriel Olivares, Zosha Warpeha, Dan Montgomery, and Evan Hyde. The quintet will perform a short set of original music. 

CATWALK Institute Residency

"Beowulf Project" with North Pacific Gyre Theatre Collective

The Beowulf Project is North Pacific Gyre Theatre Collective’s next venture. From an ancient story passed down by oral tradition, NPG has been creating an exciting, multidisciplinary and portable performance, featuring live and electronic music drawing from Norwegian folk influences and early music. 

Ben Morris Quintet Featured in ASCAP Foundation Interview

It’s become an annual tradition: every year since 2016, The ASCAP Foundation has partnered with the Newport Jazz Festival to offer a live slot at the Festival to an exceptional recipient of the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. This year, the Herb Alpert judges chose Ben Morris – a versatile composer/pianist equally accomplished in the jazz and classical realms. He joins a stellar lineup of ASCAP jazz talent, including Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Sons of Kemet, Makaya McCraven, Buika, Jenny Scheinman and more. ASCAP caught up with Ben Morris a few weeks before his Newport debut, to find out what we can expect from his set.

Brush Creek Center for the Arts Residency

Morris will spend a month at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming, working on a new cantata with a libretto by Marec Béla Steffens.

ATLAS Fellowship from CU Boulder

Morris will be an ATLAS Fellow at CU Boulder, pursuing his DMA in music composition beginning Fall 2019.  In the third year of his studies, he will develop a multimedia project in the ATLAS black box theatre.

ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award

for "Edvard"

Edvard received an ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composer's Award. The extended big-band piece premiered in Oslo last year at the Norwegian Academy of Music as part of the Serendip Festival.

Ithaca College David P and Susan W Wohlhueter Jazz Composition Contest

Honorable Mention

Ben's big band work Ymir's Bones with be performed by the Ithaca College jazz ensemble, featuring Vincent Gardner, as an honorable mention in their jazz composition contest.

Ben Morris Quintet at Silvana

300 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

Ben Morris Quintet will play at Silvana in Harlem on July 30th, 2019 from 6-7 pm. Featuring Juan Gabriel Olivares on saxophone and clarinets, Zosha Warpeha on fiddle and violin, Dan Montgomery on bass, and Evan Hyde on drums. 

Shepherd School of Music Orchestra Premiere

The Rice University Shepherd School of Music orchestra performed House of Stairs at 7:30 on March 22nd, 2019 in Stude Concert Hall in Alice Pratt Brown Hall on the Rice University Campus.

Aspen Music Festival Fellowship

Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies

Ben was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado, where he received a commission and premiere of two new works, one for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and one for the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra.

Fulbright Grant to Oslo, Norway

Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Norway

Ben was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study jazz composition for ten months with Helge Sunde at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway, composing a large ensemble work as a summary of his experience there.

International Gugak Workshop at the National Gugak Center

Seoul, South Korea

Ben was a fellow at the International Gugak Workshop at the National Gugak Center in Seoul, Korea, learning Korean traditional instruments.

North Pond: A Musical

Midtown Arts and Theater Center, Houston, TX

NORTH POND is a chamber musical about a young reporter struggling to write the story of a forest hermit who is jailed for stealing from a local town for 27 years.

An Iliad

Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University, Houston, TX

Ben scored David O'Hare's An Iliad with original incidental music for harp. This production was directed by Rob Kimbro. 

Saving the Great Swamp: The Battle to Defeat the Jetport

Film Score premiere at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts, Morristown, NJ

Ben scored Scott Morris' documentary Saving the Great Swamp: The Battle to Defeat the Jetport, which premiered to a packed house at the Mayo Center for the Arts in Morristown, New Jersey. 

American Composers Orchestra Jazz Composers Institute

Columbia University Miller Theater, NYC, NY

The American Composers Orchestra read Ben's work Old Seven Mile at Columbia Miller Theater as part of their Jazz Composers' Orchestra reading sessions, along with the works of six other composers.

highScore Festival

Pavia, Italy

Ben's work Agreus and Nomios was premiered by unassisted fold (Sonja Horlacher and Flavio Virzí) at the highScore Festival in Pavia, Italy. 

American Composers Orchestra Soundadvice Blog Feature

Jazz Composers Institute Readings

Ben was featured on the American Composers Orchestra Blog, Soundadvice, discussing the process and philosophy behind combining jazz and concert music with his orchestral work, Old Seven Mile, which was read Thursday, June 16th, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Miller Theater at Columbia University. 

Downbeat Award

Best Original Large Ensemble Composition

Ben's work Hawk Circle received a Downbeat Award for Best Graduate original composition. 

Music that Should be Danced

Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston, TX

Performance of Bric-a-Brac with choreography by Jennifer Mabus. Danced by Jamie Williams. 

Giancarlo Latta and the Rice Encores Project

Duncan Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX

New encore-style works for violin and piano by Rice student composers, including Latta at Valhalla.

Thorsten Brinkmann's "Great Cape Rinderhorn" at Rice University New Art New Music

Rice Gallery, Houston, TX

New Art / New Music is a unique experience at Rice University where students from the Shepherd School of Music perform works of the 20th and 21st centuries in the intimate setting of the Rice Gallery.  Premiere of Bric-a-Brac by Rice students.

Vice City Brass Premieres

Fredericksburg Brass, Fredericksburg, VA

Derek Ganong and Vice City Brass premiere 2nd Avenue Saturdays.

Anila Quayyum Agha’s "Intersections"; at Rice Gallery New Art New Music

Rice Gallery, Houston, TX

New Art / New Music is a unique experience at Rice University where students from the Shepherd School of Music perform works of the 20th and 21st centuries in the intimate setting of the Rice Gallery. Ben's work Muqarnas Projections received a premiere alongside the art installation. 

Scuffed Shoe Duet at the Electric LaTex Festival

Rice University, Houston, TX

Electric Latex is a gathering of more than forty student composers from six universities including Louisiana State University, Rice University, Tulane University, Texas A&M, University of North Texas and University of Texas at Austin. Scuffed Shoe Duet (Brandon Bell and Craig Hauschildt) premiered Ben's electroacoustic work Blue Spruce.

12 Nights Festival and The Living Earth Show

Bakehouse Arts Complex, Wynwood, Miami, FL

The percussion and guitar duet The Living Earth Show (Andy Meyerson and Travis Andrews) premiered Manatee Matinee. Check out more of The Living Earth Show's music here: http://thelivingearthshow.com/

Klezmer Company Orchestra Commission and Premiere

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

The Klezmer Company Orchestra, under the direction of Aaron Kula, performed Ben's arrangement of Blue Zemer'l.

Roe and Penny Stamps Combined Scholarship Ensemble Event

Gusman Concert Hall, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Ben conducted two original cross-over works for the Stamps Scholarship Ensembles, a dectet (Hawk Circle) and a 19-piece ensemble (Ceiba Pentandra).

Frost Symphony Orchestra Premiere

Gusman Concert Hall, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Ben's work Ceiba Pentandra was premiered by the Frost Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Thomas Sleeper at the University of Miami. 

New Music on the Point Festival

Middlebury Town Hall Theater, Middlebury, VT

Ben attended the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont, working closely with the American Modern Ensemble and receiving lessons from Chet Biscardi and Missy Mazzoli. 


ASCAP Morton Gould Award

Merkin Hall, NYC, NY

Ben's double concerto Stiltsville Concerto received an ASCAP Morton Gould Composers Award in Merkin Hall.

You can find the press release here.