James Romig

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James Romig is an American composer born August 5, 1971, in Long Beach, California. He was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music.[1]

James Romig responds to an increasingly fragmented and accelerated world by creating highly isomorphic works that evolve slowly and reveal themselves gradually. Endeavoring to reflect the fragile intricacy of the natural world, his compositional designs exert influence on both small-scale iteration and large-scale structure, obscuring boundaries between form and content. Critics have described his music as “rapturous, slow-moving beauty” (San Francisco Chronicle[2]), "developing with the naturalness of breathing" (The New Yorker[3]), and “profoundly meditative... haunting” (The Wire[4]). He is a two-time Copland House award recipient[5] and has served as artist-in-residence at numerous national parks including Everglades,[6] Grand Canyon,[7] and Petrified Forest.[8] Recordings have been released by New World Records, Navona, Blue Griffin, and Perspectives of New Music. His scores are published exclusively by Parallax Music Press. Guest-composer visits include the Eastman School of Music, the Cincinnati Conservatory, SUNY Buffalo, Bowling Green State University, and the American Academy in Rome. Romig holds degrees from the University of Iowa (BM, MM) and Rutgers University (PhD). His primary teachers were Charles Wuorinen and Milton Babbitt, both of whom served on his doctoral dissertation committee. He has been on faculty at Western Illinois University since 2002.

Significant Achievements[edit]

  • 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music, finalist (Still, for solo piano)
  • 2019 Copland House Award and Residency
  • 2019 Petrified Forest National Park, Artist in Residence
  • 2018 Guest Co-Editor of Perspectives of New Music issue celebrating Charles Wuorinen's 80th year
  • 2017 Everglades National Park, Artist in Residence
  • 2012 Grand Canyon National Park, Artist in Residence
  • 2011 Copland House Award and Residency
  • 2009 Petrified Forest National Park, Artist in Residence

Significant Works[edit]

  • Still (2016) for solo piano [Finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music]
  • Petrified Spaces | Spaces | Spaces Petrified (2019) for alto saxophone and vibraphone
  • Replicas (2019) for piano and orchestra [commissioned by the Waterloo–Cedar Falls Symphony]
  • Palindragram (2018) for solo flute
  • Onomatopieces (2017) for percussion
  • Pynes (2016) for flute and piano
  • Angles of Response (2015) for clarinet and piano
  • Bridges (2014) for orchestra [commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the Quad City Symphony]
  • The Line Begins to Blur (2014) for vibraphone and piano
  • Time Seems to Pass (2013) for two pianos
  • Dorsia 2a (2013) for vibraphone and harp [commissioned by Duo Harpverk]
  • Out Of Frame (2012) for marimba trio
  • Leaves From Modern Trees (2011) for flute and piano
  • Disposition/Reflection (2011) for solo piano
  • Glaciers (2009) for orchestra
  • Recall Coordinator (2008) for flute and vibraphone
  • Second Piano Sonata (2007) for solo piano
  • Small Worlds (2006) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
  • Ferocious Alphabets (2005) for clarinet and violin
  • A Slightly Evil Machine (2005) for percussion
  • Piano Sonata (2004) for solo piano
  • Transparencies (2004) for solo piano
  • The Frame Problem (2003) for percussion trio)
  • Islands That Never Were (2003) for vibraphone and piano
  • Oiseau Miró (2001) for flute
  • Variations (1999) for string quartet
  • Vibraphone Sonata (1997)
  • Block (1996) for percussion


  • Still. Ashlee Mack, piano. New World Records: NWR 80802-2. 2018.
  • Time Seems To Pass. New Muse Piano Duo. Blue Griffin Records: BGR 407. 2017.
  • Leaves from Modern Trees: Chamber Music 1999–2016. Various artists. Parallax Music Press: PMP 172. 2017.
  • Time Seems To Pass (extended version). Khasma Piano Duo. Parallax Music Press: PMP 171. 2017.
  • Dorsia 2a. Duo Harpverk: “Offshoots.” Greenhouse Studios. 2014.
  • Out of Frame. Millikin Percussion Ensemble: “Premieres.” First Step Records: FSR 5012. 2012.
  • Ferocious Alphabets. Perspectives of New Music Vol. 49/2. PNM/OS CD3. 2012.
  • Transparencies. SCI CD Series: “Mosaic.” Navona Records: NV 5825. 2010.

Articles, Interviews, and References[edit]

External links[edit]