Chris Arrell (b. 1970, Portland OR) writes music for voices, instruments, and electronics. Praised for their unconventional beauty by The Boston Music Intelligencer and hailed as “sensuous” and “highly nuanced” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, his compositions blur conventional boundaries between color, line, harmony, and pulse.
Arrell has fulfilled commissions for a number of prestigious ensembles and institutions including the Boston Musica Viva (2010), Music at the Anthology (2005), Spivey Hall (2003), Cornell University (2003), and the Fromm Foundation (2001). Awards include the Ossia International Music Prize (2010), the League of Composers/ISCM (2008), the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award (2007), Cornell University (2001), SCI (1998), and ASCAP (1998 and 1997). His research grants include residencies at the MacDowell Colony (2005) and the Atlantic Center for the Arts (1997) as well as a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to Argentina and Chile (2004).
Arrell is Assistant Professor of Music at College of the Holy Cross and taught previously at Clayton State (Atlanta GA). He holds degrees from Cornell University (D.M.A), the University of Texas (MM), and the University of Oregon (BM), and also participated in the Cornell-Columbia Exchange Scholar Program. His composition teachers include Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, Tristan Murail, Dan Welcher, and Robert Kyr.