Andrea Clearfield is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, opera, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance, and multimedia collaborations. Clearfield creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and by Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”. Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad.
Among her 150 works are eleven large-scale cantatas including one commissioned and premiered by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Her 2009 Lung-Ta for large chamber ensemble, 2012 cantata, Tse Go La for double chorus and chamber orchestra and 2016 Rabsong Shar for soprano, chamber orchestra and digital audio were inspired by her Tibetan music fieldwork in Lo Monthang Nepal. There she documented the repertoire of the last of the royal court singers with anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Katey Blumenthal. Lung-Ta was presented as a gift to His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama as an initiative for world peace. Andrea had the great honor of being invited to perform with the Court of the Dalai Lama in 1995.
She was the 2018 Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angelfire Festival, Ida Kafavian, Artistic Director where her works, including Tse Go La Chamber Suite and a newly commissioned chamber work, Earth Door/Sky Door were featured. She was named the Steven R. Gerber Composer-in-Residence with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in collaboration with the American Composers Forum for the 2018-19 season. Her first opera, MILA, Great Sorcerer, to libretto by Jean Claude van Itallie and Lois Walden, commissioned by Terry Eder and Gene Kaufman, will be premiered as a work in progress at the acclaimed Prototype Festival on January 12 and 13th at Gerald Lynch Theater in NYC.
She has been awarded numerous fellowships including a 2016 Pew Fellowship and 2017 Independence Fellowship in the Arts and has also held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Civitella, MacDowell Colony, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Yaddo, Ucross, Djerassi, Ragdale, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Montalvo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Copland House among others. She was recently invited as Visiting Composer at the University of Texas at Austin, Curtis Institute of Music, Yale-National University of Singapore, Emory University, Michigan State University, Temple University and McIlroy Visiting Professor at the University of Arkansas.
Dr. Clearfield served on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts from 1986-2011. She received a DMA in Composition from Temple University where she studied with Maurice Wright, was a two-time recipient of the John Heller Memorial Award for Excellence in Composition and holds the distinction of being the first composer in the history of the University to receive the prestigious University-wide Presidential Fellowship. She was honored by Temple University as a Distinguished Alumna. She received an MM in Piano from the University of the Arts and a BA in Music from Muhlenberg College where she studied with her mentor, Margaret Garwood, graduated with Summa Cum Lauda, Phi Beta Kappa and first place awards in Performance and Musicianship and was the recipient of the Alumni Achievement in the Arts Award in 2012. Clearfield is also in demand as a curator, speaker and adjudicator for national arts foundations, artist residencies and performance competitions. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Recording Academy (Grammy’s), Philadelphia Chapter.
Her works are published by Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard, International Opus and Seeadot and have been recorded on the Bridge, Sony, MSR, Albany, Crystal and Innova labels. Active as a pianist, she has performed with numerous ensembles including the Court of the Dalai Lama and performed with the contemporary music ensemble Relâche for twenty-five years. Now celebrating its 32nd year, Clearfield is also the founder and host of the renowned Salon, featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, multimedia and world music and winner of Philadelphia Magazine’s 2008 “Best of Philadelphia” award. She is also curating and hosting Salon concerts around the country.