David Ludwig (composer)

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Composer David Ludwig

David Ludwig (born 1974, Bucks County, Pennsylvania) is an American composer of classical music. His uncle is pianist Peter Serkin, his grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin, and his great-grandfather was the violinist Adolf Busch.[1]

Ludwig has written music for many musicians and ensembles, including Jonathan Biss, André Watts, Jaime Laredo, eighth blackbird, Jennifer Koh, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Mimi Stillman, Network for New Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Ludwig has held residencies with Meet the Composer, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies, and the Marlboro Music School. He was the composer-in-residence with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2009. His choral work, The New Colossus, was performed at the 2013 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.[1] Ludwig joined the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music as of the 2010-2011 academic year,[2] and is the Artistic Director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Dean of Artistic Programs. He has also composed for films such as Cymbeline.


Ludwig attended Oberlin College for his undergraduate degree, originally intending to take a degree in art history, but eventually taking a music degree.[3] His teachers included Richard Hoffmann. He received his M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music. He completed additional post-graduate work at the Curtis Institute of Music with Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon, and Ned Rorem, and at the Juilliard School with John Corigliano. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the George Crumb Fellow, with his "Sonata for Violin and Piano" as his dissertation.

Personal life[edit]

Ludwig is married to violinist Bella Hristova.[4]



  • "Pictures from the Floating World" (2013) for solo bassoon and orchestra[5]
  • "Virtuosity" (2013), Five Micro-Concertos for String Orchestra
  • "Seasons Lost" (2012) for two solo violins and string orchestra
  • "Fanfare for Sam" (2011)[6]
  • Symphony No. 1 "Book of Hours" (2009)
  • Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra (2008)
  • "Compose Yourself!" (2007)
  • Concertino for solo violin and orchestra (2005)
  • Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (2004)
  • Radiance, serenade for oboe and strings (2003)
  • NightVision (2001)


  • "Aria Fantasy" (2013) for piano quartet
  • "Kantigas" (2013) for Arabic violin, guitar, and Arabic percussion
  • "Josquin Microludes" (2012) for saxophone quartet
  • "Piccola musica notturna" (2011) for EH, hrp, string quartet
  • "Three Yiddish Dances" (2010) for vln, vcl, pno
  • "Flowers in the Desert" (2009) for cl, vla, pno
  • "From the Rubayaat of Omar Khayyam" (2008) for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble
  • "A Modern Psalm" (2007) for jazz trio: pno, bass, drum set
  • "Lamentations" (2006) for clar, hrp, cb, perc
  • "Divertimento" (2006) for vln, vla, vcl, cb, pno
  • "Haiku Catharsis" (2004) for flt, cl, vln, pno, perc
  • "Four Japanese Folk Songs" (2003) for euphonium and string quartet
  • Oboe Quartet "The Catherine Wheel" (2002) for oboe and string trio
  • "Autumn Variations" (2002) for vln, gtr, vcl
  • "Dances of Light" (2000) for string trio
  • Clarinet Quintet "Poems from Antiquity" (1998) for cl and string quartet


  • "Still Life" (2013) soprano and piano
  • "Four Ladino Folk Songs" (2012) SATB choir
  • "Our Long War" (2011) for soprano, violin, and piano
  • "Ewigkeit" (2011) for baritone and chamber ensemble
  • "From the Rubayaat of Omar Khayyam" (2008) for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble
  • Hannukah Cantata (2007) SATB choir + soloists, cornetto, 3 sackbuts, organ and baroque strings
  • "Kaddish" (2006)
  • "The Choir" (2004) SATB choir
  • Whitman Songs (2002) baritone and pno
  • "The New Colussus" (2002) SATB choir
  • Ave Maria (2000) SSAA
  • Things to Do in a Park (2000) children's choir & string quartet


  • "Swan Song" (2013) violin and piano
  • "Five Ladino Songs" (2012) violin
  • "Lunaire Variations" (2012) piano
  • "5 Bagatelles" (2011) piano[7]
  • "Canzoniere" (2011) flute and piano
  • "Density 15.1" (2010) solo tenor saxophone
  • "Scenes from Childhood" (2009) cello and piano
  • Six Haikus (2008) horn and piano
  • "Three Chansons" arrangements and responses to G. Dufay" (2008) cello and piano
  • "Pleiades" (2005) oboe and piano
  • "Three Portraits of Isabella" (2003) solo piano
  • Sonata for Flute and Piano (2002)
  • Star Cycles (1999) harp

Large ensemble[edit]

  • La Follia (2011) - string orchestra
  • "Missa Brevis" (2008) - wind ensemble
  • Eastern Light (2000)
  • The Seven Ages of Man (1999) - string nonet


  1. ^ a b Samuel Hughes (March 2013). "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your President, Your Veep …". Pennsylvania Gazette. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  2. ^ "Curtis Announces New Faculty Appointments: Appointments to take effect with 2010-11 school year" (Press release). Curtis Institute of Music. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  3. ^ Diana Burgwyn (July 2013). "Updating Tradition". Pennsylvania Gazette. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  4. ^ "VC 'Artist' Violinist Bella Hristova Weds Musical Partner". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  5. ^ David Patrick Stearns (2013-11-02). "Orchestra debuts 3 commissioned concertos". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  6. ^ Peter Dobrin (2011-10-25). "Curtis musicians bring the sound of renewal to Verizon". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  7. ^ Robert Zaller (2012-01-31). "A family affair at Curtis". Broad Street Review. Retrieved 2014-12-25.

External links[edit]