Robert Aldridge (composer)

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Robert Livingston Aldridge
BornSeptember 7, 1954
Notable workElmer Gantry, opera
SpousePaula Stark
ChildrenMicaela Aldridge (b. 1994)

Robert Livingstone Aldridge (September 7, 1954 in Richmond, VA)[1] is an American composer, professor, and current Head of Composition professor, and former Director of Music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He has written over eighty works for orchestra, opera, musical theater, dance, and various chamber ensembles that have been performed in the United States, Europe, and Japan.[2] He is widely known for his opera Elmer Gantry, based on Sinclair Lewis's 1927 novel of the same name.[3] which was completed in 2007 and won Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition in the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.


Aldridge holds degrees in both composition and English literature.[4] Aldridge received a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master's degree in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate in composition from the Yale School of Music in 2000.

In November 2007, an opera titled Elmer Gantry by Robert Aldridge and with a libretto by Herschel Garfein premiered in the James K. Polk Theater in Nashville.[5]

Parables also with a libretto by Herschel Garfein was a work commissioned by the Topeka Symphony. It premiered in May 2010.

He was professor of composition at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He was appointed director of the music department of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2012.[6]

Robert Aldridge currently lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife Paula Stark, a landscape artist. They have one daughter, Micaela Aldridge (b.1994).

Honors and awards[edit]

He has received numerous fellowships and awards for his music from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Massachusetts Artist's Foundation, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, Meet the Composer, the American Symphony Orchestra League, the New Jersey Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.


Year Work Instrumentation Premiere Performer
1983 Combo Platter Marimolin
1984 Summerdance Chamber ensemble Beth Soll Dance Company
1986 Fanfare and March Marching band Blackstone High School
Concerto for Violin and Percussion Percussion ensemble New England Conservatory
1987 Threedance Violin, marimba, and tablas Marimolin
Parable of the Blind Chamber ensemble The American Dance Festival
Ghosts String quartet Boston Composer's String Quartet
1988 From my little Island Marimba Nancy Zeltsman
1989 Quartet for an Outdoor Festival Chamber ensemble Lincoln-Center-Out-of-Doors
1992 The Concord Trio Clarinet, horn, and piano Concord Community Music School
1993 Three Folksongs Clarinet and string quartet Pacific Serenades
1996 String Quartet no. 2 The Kucharsky Quartet
1997 Larger Than Life Musical developed by Manhattan Theatre Club
1998 Music from 'The Third Person' Betty Buckley (with Herschel Garfein)
Ecstatic Overture Orchestra Norwalk Symphony & Boston Civic Orchestra
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Topeka Symphony
1999 Celebration Overture Orchestra The Gulf Coast Symphony
SoundMovesBlues SoundMoves
2000 A Prayer, for a Music Oregon Festival Chorale
2001 Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano The Gramercy Trio
The Third Person Musical The York Theatre Company
2002 War Stories Concert band Monclair State University Concert Band
2003 Leda and the Swan Orchestra The New Jersey Symphony
2004 Clarinet Concerto LA Chamber Orchestra
2007 Elmer Gantry Opera Nashville Opera
2010 Parables Oratorio Topeka Symphony Orchestra
2011 Three Waltzes Piano Solo Vivian Wang
2016 Sister Carrie opera Milwaukee


  1. ^ Giraudet, Jean-Paul (May 30, 2007). "Robert Livingston Aldridge". (in French). Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  2. ^ "Robert Aldridge Biography". Robert Aldridge. Retrieved December 4, 2022. "Robert Aldridge, Composer, Biography". Robert Aldridge, Composer. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  3. ^ Frederick, Kaimann. "Sampling an opera in progress." Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ) April 3, 2004: 37. NewsBank - Archives. Web. July 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Carman, Judith. "Lovesongs. Fifteen Songs For High Voice And Piano." Journal of Singing 69.1 (2012): 106. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. July 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Green, Jesse (January 20, 2008). "Behold! An Operatic Miracle". The New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "Alum Robert Aldridge appointed director of music department at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers". Yale School of Music. April 13, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2014.

External links[edit]