Beverly Grigsby

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Beverly Grigsby née Pinsky (b. 11 January 1928) is an American composer, musicologist and electronic/computer music pioneer.


Beverly Pinsky was born in Chicago, Illinois, and studied music as a child. She moved to California with her family at the age of 13 and graduated from Fairfax High School. She entered the University of Southern California to study pre-med, and also studied composition with Ernst Krenek at the Southern California School of Music and the Arts. She graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in composition from California State University, Northridge, and a Doctorage of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Southern California. She later studied computer music generation at Stanford University’s Center for Artificial Intelligence and at M.I.T. in 1975-1976.[1]

After completing her studies, Grigsby took a position teaching music at California State University, Northridge, and also established and directed the Computer Music Studio there. In 1984 Grigsby composed the first computerized score for an opera. She retired from her teaching position in 1993, but continued to teach privately and work as a composer. Her music has been performed internationally.[2]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • The National Endowment for the Arts award
  • The Arts International (Rockefeller) Grant
  • CSUN Distinguished Professor Award
  • CSU Chancellor’s Maxi Grant
  • IAWM Outstanding Music Contribution Award
  • Annual ASCAP awards
  • Carnegie Mellon Fellow in Technology (1987)
  • Getty Museum Research Scholar (1997–98)[2]


Grigsby has composed choral and chamber music, and also for film soundtracks and stage. She is noted for electroacoustic compositions. Selected works include:

  • The Mask of Eleanor (1984) chamber opera with computer score
  • Vision of St. Joan for soprano and computer (1987)
  • Shakti II (1985) for soprano
  • Trio for Violin, B-flat Clarinet and Piano (1994)
  • Movements for Guitar (1982)
  • Five Studies for Two Untransposed Hexachords for piano (1971)
  • Spheres (1998) for Fairlight III Computer Music Instrument


  1. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b Pool, Jeannie Pool (2003). "Beverly Grigsby Marks Her 75th Birthday with a Compact Disc and Concert". IAWM Journal. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2010.

External links[edit]