(link to Foundational Biographical Notes)
Composer Judith Lang Zaimont (b. 1945) is internationally recognized for her distinctive style, characterized by its expressive strength and dynamism. Many of her 100 works are prize-winning compositions; these include three symphonies, chamber opera, oratorios and cantatas, music for wind ensemble, vocal-chamber pieces with varying accompanying ensembles, a wide variety of chamber works, and solo music for string and wind instruments, piano, organ, and voice.
Among her composition awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship (1983-84); Maryland State Arts Council creative fellowship (1986-87); commission grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1982) and American Composers Forum (1993); and grants to support recordings from the Aaron Copland Fund (American Music Center: 1995, 2002) and Ditson Fund (Columbia University: 2002). Over the past decade, she has been Composer of the Year at Alabama University-Huntsville (1994-95), Featured Composer at the 1995 Society of Composers International meeting, Filene Artist-in-Residence for the 1996-97 year at Skidmore College, Composer in Residence at University of Wisconsin-River Falls (spring 1999), and Honored Composer at the 11th International Van Cliburn Competition in 2001 (where both Gold Medalists selected and performed her music). Most recently she has been Featured Composer for 2002 - National Federation of Music Clubs, 2003 Commissioned Composer of the California Music Teachers Association, Commissioned Composer for the 2003 International San Antonio Piano Competition, and recipient of a 2003 Aaron Copland Award (commissions, residency), a 2005-06 Commissioned Composer - Kaplan Foundation (work for wind ensemble) and recipient of a 2005 Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship in Composition.
Zaimont's music is frequently played in the United States (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center) and abroad; it is published ( MMB Music, Inc., Galaxy/ ECS, Vivace, Jeanné, C. F. Peters, Lyra, Walton) and recorded (Naxos, Albany, Arabesque, Koch, Leonarda, 4-Tay) and commissioned by ensembles and solo performers world-wide. Her orchestral music has been repeatedly recognized through prizes: First Prize - Gold Medal in the Gottschalk Centenary International Composition Competition (orchestra and chorus- 1972); First Prize in the Chamber Orchestra Composition contest to honor the Statue of Liberty Centennial (1986) - Chroma; and First Prize in the international 1995 McCollin Competition for Composers (for Symphony No. 1, performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1996). Among orchestras that have performed and/or commissioned works are the Baltimore, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Greenville (SC), Rockford (IL), Mississippi, Madison (WI), Harrisburg (PA), East Texas and Nassau (NY) symphonies, the Women's Philharmonic (CA), the Berlin Radio Orchestra (Germany), Czech Radio Orchestra (Prague), the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra (Moscow, Russia), Kharkov Philharmonic (Ukraine), Pro Arte Chamber Orchestras (NY and Boston), and others; and wind ensembles at Florida State University, University of Minnesota, Georgia State, and University of Virginia. Her vocal and choral works have been featured by the Elmer Isseler Singer (Canada), American Vocal Arts Theatre (CT), Florilegium Chamber Choir, New York Virtuoso Singers, Amor Artis, Canticum Novum, Plymouth Music Singers, the Gregg Smith Singers, La Vie Ensemble and the Dale Warland Singers, Ernst Senfft Chor (Berlin), and Laudebus (London) among others.
Compositions by Zaimont have been featured works performed at the World Viola Congress (2005), World Saxophone Congress (2003), National Conference of CBDNA (2003), National Cello Congress (2003), College Music Society National Conferences (2005, 2004 and earlier), International Double Reed Society annual conferences (1997, 1993), and others. Among the agencies and performers who have commissioned her over the years are Connecticut Opera, American Choral Directors Association, College Band Directors National Association, American Guild of Organists, Chamber Music America (Millennium Commission: SPIRALS), American Composers Forum, Baltimore Dance Theatre (Hidden Heritage: A Dance Symphony), Huntingdon Trio, Sigma Alpha Iota, Florilegium Chamber Choir (NY: PARABLE), Exxon Fund/University of Alaska, Artists International (When Angels Speak), First International Art Song Festival (AK: In the Theatre of Night), Minnesota Commissioning Club (‘Homeland’ Wind Quintet) (Johns) Hopkins Symphony (Tarantelle), International Double Reed Society, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 1), Baltimore Chamber Orchestra (Chroma), the Universities of Wisconsin (1999 Commissioned Composer: Parallel Play), Minnesota (Symphony for Wind Orchestra in Three Scenes), Alabama (Huntsville: ZONES - Piano Trio No. 2), North Carolina at Greensboro (PianoFest 2000: Jupiter’s Moons), Fairfield University (CT: VOICES), and Queens College of the City University of New York (75th anniversary commission); Vox Nova Wind Quintet (When Angels Speak), Gregg Smith Singers, Dale Warland Singers and such distinguished artists as the renowned soprano Arleen Augér, pianist Dalton Baldwin, oboist Lisa Kozenko and Metropolitan Opera baritone David Arnold. Fall 2005 activities include release of a Naxos CD completely devoted to her larger texted works, including six movements from Sacred Service for the Sabbath Evening performed by the Berlin Radio Orchestra with James Maddalena, baritone, under the direction of Gerard Schwarz; and a new album on Albany featuring recent music for smaller forces, including the piano solo WIZARDS, ‘Tanya’ Poems for cello, and ‘Bubble-Up’ Rag for flute and piano (‘Pure Colors’).
Her music is the subject of twelve doctoral dissertations to date, and has served as repertoire for international performance competitions (Carnegie-Rockefeller American Music [vocal], Cliburn and San Antonio international [piano], Vahktan Jordania international [conducting]). Two of her works have been named to Century Lists -- Doubles -1993 (oboe and piano: Chamber Music America), and Sonata - 1999 (Piano & Keyboard magazine). Her biography is found in most standard reference works (e.g., New Grove’s), and she is the subject both of individual chapters in specialist volumes and major articles in professional journals [The Clarinet, Fanfare, NATS Journal, Choral Journal, International Piano, Mississippi Rag, etc. - in 2003: Clavier (April), and in 2004: Chamber Music magazine (January/February); Piano Today (summer)].
Zaimont is a distinguished teacher, formerly a member of the faculties of Queens College and Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she was named "Teacher of the Year" in 1985. She held the post of Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Adelphi University from 1989-91, and from 1992 to 2005 she served as Professor of Composition at the University of Minnesota School of Music, as well as division chair and Scholar of the College of Liberal Arts. Since retiring from full-time college teaching in fall 2005, she continues to be active as clinician, frequent adjudicator and masterclass presenter across the US and abroad. Zaimont is also the creator and editor-in-chief of the critically acclaimed book series, The Musical Woman: An International Perspective (3 vols., Greenwood Press). For the books, she received a research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1989) and the 1993 First Prize in the international musicology awards, the Pauline Alderman Prizes. After serving as National Board Member for Composition for the College Music Society (2003-2005), she recently was elected to a second term on the advisory board of the International Alliance for Women in Music (2004-2007), and to the editorial board of American Music Teacher magazine (2005-2007).