Jason Eckardt (b. 17 May 1971, Princeton, N.J.) is an American composer.
Eckardt received a doctorate in composition from Columbia University as a Presidential Fellow. In 1992, Eckardt graduated cum laude from Berklee College of Music where he was awarded the Richard Levy Scholarship. He has attended master classes with Milton Babbitt, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He has taught at Columbia, Illinois, New York, Northwestern, and Rutgers Universities, the Oberlin and Peabody Conservatories, and is currently on the faculties of the Graduate Center and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
Eckardt played guitar in jazz and metal bands until, upon first hearing the music of Anton Webern, he immediately devoted himself to composition. Since then, his music has been influenced by his interests in perceptual complexity, the physical and psychological dimensions of performance, political activism, and self-organizing processes in the natural world.
He has been recognized through commissions from Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie; awards from the League of Composers/ISCM (National Prize), Deutschen Musikrat-Stadt Wesel (Symposium NRW Prize), the Aaron Copland Fund, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Columbia University (Rapoport Prize); and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music.
Major festivals have programmed his works, including the Festival d'Automne a Paris, IRCAM-Resonances, ISCM World Music Days (1999, 2000), Darmstadt, Musica Strasbourg, Voix Nouvelles, Musik im 20. Jahrhundert, New Music on the Point, Musikhost, Currents in Musical Thought-Seoul, New Consortium, International Review of Contemporary Music, Festival of New American Music, and the International Bartok Festival.
Eckardt has written on subjects ranging from cognitive research informing composition to Richard Serra's use of process from a musical perspective. His work has appeared in Perspectives of New Music, Autour de la Set Theory in IRCAM's Musique-Sciences series, L'etincelle, Dansk Musik Tidsskrift, Current Musicology, and a chapter in Arcana II, edited by John Zorn.
Also active as a promoter of new music, Eckardt co-founded and served as the executive director of Ensemble 21, the contemporary music performance group in New York City. Under his leadership, the critically acclaimed ensemble earned a reputation for innovative programming and top-caliber performances, premiered over thirty works, and recorded for the CRI and Mode labels. In 1999, Ensemble 21 was the first American ensemble to collaborate in concert with IRCAM.
Works for Winds
- A Fractured Silence (2004)