David Rakowski grew up in St. Albans, Vermont playing trombone in community bands and keyboards in a rock band. His first composition was a band piece he wrote his junior year in high school, in order to win the Vermont All-State Composition Competition (he lost). The first music he heard that he really liked was Le Soleil des Eaux of Boulez and Ensembles for Synthesizer of Babbitt, on a Time-Life "Music of Today" compilation that his band director had lent him. He eventually studied composition at the New England Conservatory, at Princeton with among others, Milton Babbitt, and at Tanglewood with Luciano Berio. He has been composer-in-residence at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival and Guest Composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference. He has taught at Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia Universities. Currently he is Professor of Composition at Brandeis, whose faculty he joined in 1995.
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If you read Rakowski's bio above, you might get the false impression that this is musty, secret-decoder ring music. It's not: influences of jazz ("Fourth of Habit"), impressionism ("The Third, Man"), and funk ("Ten of a Kind") are all present and fully digested. If you think contemporary classical music can't be fun, you're not listening to this disc!