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6 Last updated 9 October 2020.


Aaron Cassidy is Professor of Composition and Director of the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM), for which he oversees the Huddersfield Contemporary Records (HCR) CD label and the Divergence Press peer-reviewed journal.

He joined the staff at the University of Huddersfield in 2007, and has previously held the roles of Director of Graduate Education (School of Music, Humanities & Media), Research Coordinator (Music & Music Technology), and Postgraduate Coordinator (Music & Music Technology). Prior to Huddersfield, he served as Lecturer of Composition at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Buffalo State College.

His work as a composer has been garnered widespread international visibility. His compositions have been presented in hundreds of performances across 27 countries by leading contemporary music specialists, including ELISION, Ensemble Musikfabrik, EXAUDI, Ensemble SurPlus, ensemble recherche, Ictus Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Line Upon Line, the Kairos, Diotima, and JACK string quartets, and soloists including Garth Knox, Ian Pace, Carl Rosman, Peter Veale, Mieko Kanno, Ryan Muncy, Jeffrey Gavett, Diego Castro Magas, Christopher Redgate, Tristram Williams, Marco Blaauw, and Peter Evans. That work has been presented at major international festivals and venues including Donaueschingen, Ultraschall, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, Gaudeamus, Dark Music Days, Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, Bludenz, Mixtur, Bendigo (BIFEM), Monday Evening Concerts, NYCEMF, June In Buffalo, the ISCM World Music Days, Southbank Centre, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, and Sendesaal Bremen, and has been supported through grants and commissions from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Südwestrundfunk, the American Music Center, British Council, PRS Foundation, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), New York Foundation for the Arts, Haupstadtkulturfonds Berlin, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, allerArt Bludenz, RMIT Gallery Sonic Arts Collection, ASCAP, and the London Cultural Olympiad 2012. Recordings of his work are available on 10 commercial CD releases from NEOS, NMC, HCR, and New Focus Records, with an additional forthcoming portrait CD on Kairos scheduled for release in 2022.

He has given invited lectures and masterclasses at many of the most significant institutions for new music worldwide, including Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern University, CalArts, SUNY Buffalo, University of Chicago, Oxford, Southampton, Durham, York, University of Queensland, RMIT, Kunstuniversität Graz, Norwegian Academy of Music, National University of Singapore, SEGi College Malaysia, Orpheus Institute Ghent, Goethe Institut-Los Angeles, Kulturstiftung Schloss Wiepersdorf, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts London. His work has been written about and analysed in dozens of books, articles, theses, and dissertations—including in journals such as Perspectives of New Music, Contemporary Music Review, Neue Musik Zeitung, and Tempo—and the work has increasingly been profiled in non-specialist publications as well, most notably in The Atlantic (‘Squiggles are the new quarter notes: why music looks different now’).

Also active as a conductor, Cassidy has appeared as a guest conductor with Ensemble Musikfabrik, ELISION, Schola Heidelberg,  Ensemble Proton Bern, Ensemble Interface (then as IEMA), and the International Contemporary Ensemble. From 2008–13 he served as conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and New Music Ensemble at the University of Huddersfield, and was previously a regular guest conductor of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble. Notable recent performances include appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie for Musikfest Berlin (Berliner Festspiele), the Musikfabrik im WDR series at the WDR Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, and the Metropolis New Music Festival at the Melbourne Recital Centre. He has recorded as a conductor for forthcoming releases on the Kairos, Wergo, and HCR labels.

Cassidy joined the staff of the University of Huddersfield in 2007 and currently serves as Professor of Composition and Director of the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM). He previously served as Lecturer of Composition at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Buffalo State College. He holds a PhD in Composition from the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where he studied principally with David Felder as a recipient of a Presidential Fellowship. Other teachers included Michael Pisaro, Jay Alan Yim, Alan Stout, Marta Ptaszynska, and Pauline Oliveros, in addition to further study with Brian Ferneyhough, Chaya Czernowin, Jonathan Harvey, Richard Barrett, and Alvin Lucier, among others. His conducting teachers have included Stephen Alltop, Erik Oña, Ilan Volkov, Zsolt Nagy and Peter Eötvös.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Composition
  • Late 20th/21st Century Musicology and Analysis
  • Experimental Music
  • Post-structuralist theory (memory & complexity theory, theories of space, Deleuze/Guattari)
  • Instrument mechanisms, acoustics, and timbral analysis

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Music Composition
  • Contemporary Music
  • Experimental Music
  • Conducting


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