Clifton Callender

composition, music theory, mathematics


Clifton Callender is currently Associate Professor of Composition at Florida State University, where he teaches composition, music theory, and serves as Artistic Director of the FSU New Music Ensemble. His solo piano works Patty, My Dear and Point and to Plane are recorded by Jeri-Mae Astolfi (Capstone) and Jeffrey Jacob (New Ariel). Recent commissions include Hungarian Jazz, invited work for the Bridges Conference on the Arts and Mathematics, gegenschein, for Piotr Szewczyk’s Violin Futura project, Reasons to Learne to Sing, for the 50th Anniversary of the College Music Society, and Metamorphoses II, for the Florida State Music Teachers Association. His music has been recognized by and performed at the Spark Festival, Forecast Music, Composers Inc., the Florida Electracoustic Music Festival at the University of Florida, the American Composers Orchestra, the International Festival of Electroacoustic Music “Primavera en La Habana,” NACUSA Young Composers Competition, the Northern Arizona University Centennial Composition, SEAMUS, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conferences, the World Harp Congress in Copenhagen, the iChamber New Music Series, the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, the Ernest Bloch Music Festival, and the ppIANISSIMO festival in Bulgaria.

Callender’s research includes work on geometrical music theory, Fourier-based harmonic theory, extensions of Neo-Riemannian theory to twentieth-century music (including Scriabin and Ligeti), and mathematical aspects of tempo (including Nancarrow).His articles have been published in Science, Perspectives of New Music, Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, and Intégral. Callender also serves on the editorial boards of Perspectives of New Music and the Journal of Mathematics and Music.

Callender received the Ph.D. in composition from the University of Chicago as a Whiting Fellow, the M.M. in composition from the Peabody Conservatory, and the B.F.A. from Tulane University.