A composer equally accustomed to writing for orchestra, opera, film, theater, chorus, piano, and chamber ensembles, Brian Wilbur Grundstrom’s voice includes a strong affinity for long melodic lines, distinctive tonal harmonic vocabulary, engaging rhythms, skillfully executed counterpoint, and dramatic imagery.
Audiences take to his compositions immediately, finding in his music traces of Copland and Puccini, along with a bit of film score.
Classically trained in piano as well as music theory from Gettysburg College, he continued orchestration and composition studies with John David Earnest.
Conducted by Maestro Erik Ochsner, Grundstrom’s CD, AN ORCHESTRAL JOURNEY was released in 2016 by PARMA Recordings under the Navona Records label with distribution by Naxos. Also by PARMA Recordings, Maestro Miran Vaupotić conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a recording of the Overture to Grundstrom’s opera, For Whom the Bell Tolls, based on the story by Ernest Hemingway.
Grundstrom’s orchestral music has been performed by Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro (Brasilia, Brazil), La Orquesta Sinfonica De Loja and La Orquestra Sinfónica de Guayaquil (Ecuador), Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, SONOS Chamber Orchestra, North/South Consonance, Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, Trinity Chamber Orchestra, George Washington University Orchestra, NIH Philharmonia, Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra, Holyoke Civic Symphony, and The Queer Urban Orchestra.
Other ensembles include Sunderman Woodwind Quintet, Chamber Music by Candelight by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians, CoroAllegro, Colla Voce, and The New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
Grundstrom won Outstanding Emerging Artist in the 2013 DC Mayor’s Arts Awards, and has received eight fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. His awards also include Encore from American Composers Forum, Composers Assistance Program from the American Music Center, and ASCAPLUS from ASCAP. He has received four Peer Awards from Television, Internet & Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC) including a Gold Peer Award for Children of Zeus — a 46-minute work for chorus and orchestra commissioned by Maestro Jeffrey Dokken and the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, CoroAllegro, and St Marie’s Choral Arts.
A member of ASCAP, Grundstrom attended the ASCAP/NYU Buddy Baker Film Music Workshop. His features include Arc of Light: A Portrait of Anna Campbell Bliss and 2 Minutes Later, in addition to writing music for many short films. His studio includes the latest in technologies, including Vienna Symphonic Library, and he is able to render his orchestral compositions at high professional standards.
SONOS Chamber Orchestra Director Erik E. Ochsner writes: “many audiences cringe at the thought of new music. We had such positive feedback from audiences on how much they enjoyed Grundstrom’s work. It is modern, yet tonal.”
Maestro Jeffrey Dokken writes about American Reflections for Strings and Harp: “The polyphony of the work is nothing short of genius. Truly. The relationship between the parts is so well written. Having your work on the program was wonderful. It truly embodies the best of American contemporary classical music. It is rhythmically enticing, harmonically satisfying and interesting, makes full use of what a string section can do, shows a broad spectrum of colors without forcing anything, provides several ‘eye closingly beautiful moments,’ and keeps the audience engaged from beat one.”
Grundstrom is currently working on an opera based on Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. His compositions can be heard at www.brianwilbur.com.