Faculty Profile

Composition Faculty
Chair of Composition and Theory

Current Hometown: New York City & Vermont

Described as “an intense, luminous American composer (Los Angeles Times), “a painter who knows exactly where her picture will be hung” (New York Times) and as having “found a voice when many people were speechless…a conscience in a time of oblivion…countering abuses of moral authority with an internal, personal sound using [her music] as a witness, a reminder, that music and creativity are part of a continuing web of responsibility” (Kronos Quartet Founder and First Violinist David Harrington, Strings Magazine), Alexandra’s music has been performed in concert halls on five continents.

The unique spirit of Longy—its vision, scope, and commitment to social justice—helped shape me into the artist, composer, and human being I am today. As a result of the tremendously positive, open, and intimate experience I had at Longy, I have always carried deep gratitude and respect for the school throughout the rest of my career. I began to find the passion, foundation, and community I needed to build my future as a successful composer during my time at Longy. My very first world premiere took place at Longy! And it was Longy’s commitment to connecting performers with composers that brought that oxygen into my music from the very beginning.

As a composer, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the world’s leading ensembles, but equally important in building my life as a composer has been my life-long relationships with the other musicians I met while a student. These relationships can help shape the arc of a young composer’s path. Musicians and composers do not live separately from one another after all; we depend on each other.

Some of my most recent projects include commissions from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City, Institut Curie Paris, Riot Ensemble in London, and Kronos Quartet in San Francisco, but some of my most exciting work is currently being written for musicians I have known for decades, as their musical voices have grown alongside mine—musicians I first met and worked with at Longy and the other schools I attended during my academic career.

Being a composition teacher is also a tremendous gift—I am proud to be a sounding board for all those who have studied with me over the years. And as I continue to learn from my students and their vision, goals, and personal attention to the application of change in their own worlds, I am reminded that each one of us holds an original voice and mission and path, one that no one else holds. Each and every artist and student artist carries the responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless and a metaphorical megaphone for voices that need to be heard, regardless of their current decibel level.  It is my goal as an educator to help identify these things for my students, while I too, continue to find ways to intensify my commitment to amplifying and actualizing anti-racism, social justice, and ending inequality.

At the end of the day, what is the voice inside you that most wants to speak? Whether that voice is calling out to be heard loudly or calling in a soft, internal voice, it needs to be heard by you the artist, first, before it can be shared with the world. At Longy, you can find or nurture that voice, so that it is as strong and deep as your unique and expressive contribution and presence on this planet.

More information about Alexandra du Bois, Ph.D., can be found at www.alexandradubois.com.

Composition & Theory Department