Melinda Wagner (born 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) received graduate degrees in music composition from the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. She has studied with Richard Wernick, George Crumb, Shulamit Ran, and Jay Reise.
Commissioned by Paul Lustig Dunkel and the Westchester Philharmonic, her Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion received its premiere in May 1998 and was awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Falling Angels, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 1993, was performed by the American Composers Orchestra in 1995, and again by the CSO in 1996 under the AT&T American Encore series.
Ms. Wagner's works have also been performed by the New York New Music Ensemble, the Society for New Music (Syracuse), Orchestra 2001, and other leading organizations. Commissions have come from the Chicago Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Barlow Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Fromm Foundation, the Ernst and Young Emerging Composers Fund, the American Brass Quintet, and guitarist David Starobin. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a 1996 Howard Foundation Fellowship, three ASCAP Young Composer Awards, and resident fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. A CD of her Sextet, performed by the Society for New Music, appears on the Opus One label. Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion is recorded on the Bridge label with Paul Lustig Dunkel as soloist with the Westchester Philharmonic, Mark Mandarano conducting.
Melinda Wagner has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University, and Hunter College. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, percussionist James Saporito, and their children.
Works for Winds