LARRY WALLACH is a composer, pianist, and musicologist whose compositions, mostly of chamber music, have been performed throughout the United States. He was educated at Columbia University, from which he holds a PhD in Musicology. He currently holds the Livingston Hall Chair in Music at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where he has taught since 1972. From 2001 to 2014 taught composition in the Bard MFA Program for Conductors. He received an NEH Fellowship to study historical piano performance practices for the year 1977-78 and is a recipient of two “Meet the Composer” grants from New York State. His composition “Echoes from Barham Down” for flute, string trio, and piano, based on an English country dance tune, won the New School of Music, Cambridge, composition prize in 1985.
Compositions, mostly of piano and chamber music, include “Chamber Concerto for Harp and Percussion,” premiered by the Atlanta Sinfonietta (1992), which Alex Ross, writing for the New York Times, called “smooth and sophisticated” and of which he wrote “Mr. Wallach opened up the texture with ingeniously varied scoring.” Other chamber works have been performed by the Da Capo Players, by the Avanti Wind Quintet, at the Mannes College Percussion, by the Prometheus Piano Quartet, the Walden Chamber Players, The Arcadia Viols, and others. “Winter Music” for percussion sextet (2014) was commissioned and premiered by the New England Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, and “Berkshire Rhapsody” for large orchestra was commissioned and premiered by the Claflin Hill Orchestra of Milford, Massachusetts in 2017.
As a keyboard player Larry Wallach performs on both piano and harpsichord, in repertory for small and large chamber ensembles, including those with historical instruments. He received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1977–78 for a year-long seminar in performance practices of early piano music, particularly Mozart and Schubert, and in 1982 he participated in the Aston Magna Summer Academy on German Music and Culture. An expert on the music of Charles Ives, in 1996 he performed at the Bard Music Festival devoted to Ives, and has presented papers about him at several conferences. Larry Wallach’s writings have appeared in the Musical Quarterly and the Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Music and he has written entries for “The Compleat Brahms,” edited by Leon Botstein. Since 2009, his music reviews have appeared in the on-line magazines Berkshire Review and New York Arts.