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John Muehleisen

John Muehleisen

Composer John Muehleisen is increasingly in demand for commissions and performances nationally and internationally, particularly from choral ensembles. He has served as Composer-in-Residence for Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble almost continuously since 1996, during which time Opus 7 has commissioned nearly 20 new choral works from him. He also served as composer-in-residence for the Dale Warland Singers (2003–2004) and Seattle-based Choral Arts (2011–2012).

Muehleisen’s work has received critical acclaim from the very first. His music has been described as “imaginatively harmonized and beautifully realized…” and “brilliantly crafted.” Critic Philippa Kiraly wrote of his Da pacem for women’s choir and soprano solo: “Dissonance and consonance come together and dissolve into each other creating an atmosphere of peace and calm conviction.” More recently, Kiraly’s review of the 2012 world premiere of Pietà, commissioned by Seattle’s Choral Arts, said: “Kudos…to Muehleisen for the courage to spend time on such a work and the insight, thoughtfulness, and musicianship [with] which he has created a major religious piece. . . . It was a privilege to be there, and already I want to hear it again.”

His works have been performed and recorded by numerous ensembles in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, including Choral Arts (Seattle), Choral Arts Ensemble (Rochester, MN), Choral Chameleon, Conspirare, the Dale Warland Singers, The Esoterics, the John Alexander Singers, Kokopelli’s Òran choir, the Louisville Orchestra, Musa Horti (Belgium), Northwest Girlchoir, Opus 7, The Richard Zielinski Singers, Seattle Girls Choir, Seattle Pro Musica, South Bend Chamber Singers, Vocal Arts Ensemble (Cincinnati), and numerous college and university choirs, including the Yale Schola Cantorum.

Muehleisen was a guest composer at the 22nd Festival of Contemporary Music in 1988 (along with principal guest composer Joan Tower) and at the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterworks Choral Festival in Austin, TX in 2007 (along with Stephen Paulus). He has been in residence with numerous choral ensembles, including Choral Arts (Seattle), Choral Arts Ensemble (Rochester, MN), Conspirare, the Dale Warland Singers, the John Alexander Singers, Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, the Quincy Symphony Chorus, South Bend Chamber Singers, Volti, and at University of Missouri–Kansas City, Wake Forest University, and numerous other public schools, colleges, and universities that have commissioned and performed his works.

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