Pierre Jalbert

Pierre Jalbert

Born: 1967
Country of origin: United States of America


Into the Tempest
Conductor: Cristian Măcelaru
October 25th, 2015 | Salle Métropole - Lausanne - Switzerland

Street Antiphons
January 29th, 2016 | Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center - Houston, TX - United States of America

Further information:


Pierre Jalbert's music immediately captures one's attention with its strong gesture and vitality. Rich in instrumental color and harmonically engaging, its narrative is dramatically compelling yet always logical in its flow. In the orchestral Chamber Symphony, big sky, and Fire and Ice, and in numerous chamber compositions, he synthesizes an array of current musical resources into bold, deeply satisfying, personal statements that surprise and delight. (American Academy of Arts and Letters)

American composer Pierre Jalbert has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, deeply personal and distinctly his own. Jalbert has received major commissions from the American Composers Orchestra, the Houston, California, Albany, and Vermont Symphonies, and two from Meet the Composer: a “Magnum Opus Project” consortium that included the Oakland East Bay, Marin, and Santa Rosa Symphonies, and Commissioning Music/USA for Music from Copland House, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, where he served as Composer-in-Residence from 2002-2005.

His much sought after chamber music has been performed by Midori, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Escher, Ying, Borromeo, Maia, and Chiara String Quartets, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Janaki String Trio, and the Caramoor Festival. Upcoming commissions include new works for the Houston Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, and the Emerson String Quartet. He has also served as composer-in-residence with the California Symphony and Chicago's Music in the Loft.

Jalbert’s many honors include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Copland House/Borromeo String Quartet Award, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Award, given biennially “in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory,”and a 2010 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. As a student, his compositions were honored by both ASCAP and BMI. Jalbert’s orchestral work In Aeternam, which has been performed internationally - the Seattle and London Symphony Orchestras among others - garnered the highly prestigious BBC Masterprize. Jalbert’s discography features recordings by David Finckel and Wu Han, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Ying Quartet, and is available on the ArtistLed, Cedille, Albany, New Dynamic, Gasparo, Helicon, Summit Records labels and others.

Jalbert has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources ranging from plainchant melodies to natural phenomena. His music is tonally centered, incorporating modal, tonal, and, at times, dissonant sonorities, while retaining a sense of harmonic motion culminating in a completed musical journey. His rhythmic shapes are cogent, often with an unmistakable sense of underlying pulsation. Jalbert’s primary oeuvre is instrumental and he is particularly noted for his mastery of color. In both his chamber and orchestral scores, he creates timbres that are vivid yet refined.

Born in Manchester, NH into a family with roots in Quebec, Jalbert grew up in northern Vermont. At age 5, he began piano lessons and immersed himself in the classical repertoire. His appreciation of French and English folk songs and Catholic liturgical music helped him gain a deep respect for music that communicates powerfully with an economy of means. Following undergraduate studies in piano and composition at Oberlin Conservatory, Jalbert earned a Ph.D in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with George Crumb. Jalbert is Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where he has taught since 1996, and currently serves as co-artistic director of Musiqa, a locally based contemporary chamber ensemble. This season, Jalbert receives the premieres of Howl, with clarinetist Charles Neidich and the Pro Arte Quartet on September 26, Piano Trio No. 2 with the Morgenstern Piano Trio on November 5, as well as a new work for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble debuting on April 23, 2015 with Sasha Cooke and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, led by David Danzmayr.

Pierre Jalbert is represented by Dworkin & Company: www.dworkincompany.com