Gary Noland


Biography Gary Lloyd Noland grew up on a plot of land three blocks south of UC Berkeley known as People’s Park, which has distinguished itself as a site of civic unrest since the 1960s. As an adolescent, Gary lived for a time in Salzburg and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where he absorbed many musical influences. He earned a BA in music from UC Berkeley in 1979, continued studies at the Boston Conservatory, and transferred to Harvard where he added to his credits an MA and PhD in 1989. His teachers in composition and theory have included John C. Adams, Alan Curtis, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (Master of the Queen’s Music, 2004-16), William Denny, Robert Dickow, Janice Giteck, Andrew Imbrie (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 1995), Earl Kim, Leon Kirchner (Pulitzer Prize, 1967), David Lewin (called “the most original and far-ranging theorist of his generation”), Donald Martino (Pulitzer Prize, 1974), Hugo Norden, Marta Ptaszynska, Chris Rozé, Goodwin Sammel, John Swackhamer, Ivan Tcherepnin, and Walter Winslow. He has attended seminars by composers David Del Tredici (Pulitzer Prize, 1980), Beverly Grigsby, Michael Finnissy (leading British composer and pianist) and Bernard Rands (Pulitzer Prize, 1984), and has had private consultations with George Rochberg (aka “the Father of Neo-Romanticism”) and Joaquin Nin-Culmell (brother of Anais Nin). Gary’s catalogue consists of hundreds of works, which include piano, vocal, chamber, experimental and electronic pieces, full-length plays in verse, “chamber novels,” and graphically notated scores. His “39 Variations on an Original Theme in F Major” for solo piano (Op. 98) is, at almost two hours duration, one of the longest and most challenging sets of solo piano variations in the history of the genre. He has been called “the Richard Strauss of the 21st century” and “the most virtuosic composer of fugue alive today.” His compositions have been performed and broadcast in many locations throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia. He founded the Seventh Species concert series in San Francisco in 1990 and has, since, produced over fifty concerts of contemporary concert hall music on the West Coast. Gary is also a founding member of Cascadia Composers, one of the premier composer collectives on the West Coast. Gary has taught music at Harvard and the University of Oregon and currently teaches piano, theory, and composition as an independent instructor in Portland, Oregon. A number of his works (fiction, music, and graphic scores) have been published (and/or are slated for publication) in various litmags, including Quarter After Eight, Berkeley Fiction Review, Portland Review, Denali, The Monarch Review, theNewerYork Press, Wisconsin Review, The Writing Disorder, and Heavy Feather Review. His graphic scores are included in Theresa Sauer’s book Notations 21, which is a sequel to John Cage’s celebrated compilation of graphic scores Notations (first published in 1969). His scores are available from J.W. Pepper, RGM, and Freeland Publications. Six CDs of his compositions are available on North Pacific Music at: To read more about Gary Noland, go to: