Twice the recipient of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network’s Music Award (2013 & 2016), Craig Peaslee’s music has been described as bold, crass and unapologetic. His compositions can be traditional, multi-faceted, dissonant, genre-bending and have been known to directly confront social and political issues in order to bring attention to such issues as well as get listeners to critically think and discuss the challenges facing the world we live in.
Craig’s recent compositions include The Fall of the House of Usher (2019) for chamber orchestra, MIA (Media Informs America) (2019) for two pianos and electronics, 8’66” (2018) for piano, No. 45: The Orange Oaf (2018) for string quartet and electronics, The Whistlin’ Dixie Suite (2018) for wind quintet, Lulls and Byes (2018) for chamber ensemble, and Nine Songs from China (2017) a suite for woodwind quintet.
Recent featured performances of his compositions and arrangements have been by Boston’s Arcadian Winds, Flight 584 Big Band from Los Angeles, members of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee’s Brew City Big Band and The Moonlighter’s Orchestra.
Craig is currently studying composition while working on a Master of Music Degree at Northern Illinois University (with an anticipated graduation date in December 2019) where he is studying under David Maki and Phillip Sink. His previous studies have been with Dr Mark Mantel, The Academy of Art University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (where Craig received his baccalaureate in music composition), Roosevelt University and the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. Instructors he has studied with include Sahba Aminikia, Reginald Thomas, Jon Welstead, Jon Monhardt, Curt Hanrahan, Keith Carpenter, John Gates, Don Malone and Stacy Garrop.
Being raised in a small community, Craig is impassioned about being able to present new music to smaller communities and areas that do not normally get the opportunity to attend presentations of new and contemporary music. For these reasons, Craig enjoys writing music that is accessible while also sounding new and invigorating.