Joan Tower (b. 1938) is hailed as "one of the most successful woman composers of all time" in The New Yorker magazine, Joan Tower was the first woman to receive the Grawemeyer Award in Composition in 1990. She was inducted in 1998 into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters, and into the Academy of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University in the fall of 2004.
Since 1972, Tower has taught at Bard College, where she is Asher Edelman Professor of Music. She has served as composer-in-residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke's since 1997 and at the Deer Valley Festival in Utah since 1998, a title she also held for eight years at the Yale/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Other accolades include the 1998 Delaware Symphony's Alfred I. DuPont Award for Distinguished American Composer, the 2002 Annual Composer's Award from the Lancaster (PA) Symphony, and an Honorary Degree from the New England Conservatory (2006). "Tower has truly earned a place among the most original and forceful voices in modern American music" (The Detroit News).
Joan Tower's bold and energetic music, with its striking imagery and novel structural forms, has won large, enthusiastic audiences. From 1969 to 1984, she was pianist and founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, which commissioned and premiered many of her most popular works. Her first orchestral work, Sequoia, quickly entered the repertory, with performances by orchestras including St. Louis, New York, San Francisco, Minnesota, Tokyo NHK, Toronto, the National Symphony and London Philharmonia. A choreographed version by The Royal Winnipeg Ballet toured throughout Canada, Europe, and Russia. Tower's tremendously popular five Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman have been played by over 500 different ensembles.
Works for Winds
- Black Topaz
- Celebration Fanfare (from Stepping Stones) (arr. Jack Stamp)
- Celebration Fanfare (from Stepping Stones) - Brass Version (arr. Daniel Forlano)
- Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1
- Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 2
- Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 3
- Fascinating Ribbons
- Maughlin, Ashley Marie. (2009). A graduate recital in wind band conducting. [Master's Thesis].