David T. Little’s “sharp, elegantly bristling” music (New York magazine) is potent and dramatic, drawing as much upon his experience as a punk/metal drummer as his classical pedigree. Little often undertakes political and existential themes, and has recently gained attention for success writing for larger forces, including multimedia music theatre works and his first full-length opera, Dog Days, which The Wall Street Journal called “one of the most exciting new operas of recent years.”
Little has been commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New World and Albany symphonies, as well as by Kronos Quartet and cellist Maya Beiser. Upcoming projects include new works for the London Sinfonietta, The Crossing/International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), violinist Todd Reynolds, and Third Coast Percussion; as well as a new multimedia theater work, Artaud in the Black Lodge, with legendary Outrider poet Anne Waldman, and a new opera with Royce Vavrek, JFK, commissioned by the Fort Worth Opera and American Lyric Theater. Little recently signed on to develop new work through the Met/Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program.
Little’s music has been performed throughout the world, and he has received recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the American Music Center, the Harvey Gaul Competition, BMI, and ASCAP, among others. He holds degrees from Susquehanna University, the University of Michigan, and Princeton University (PhD), where his research explored the intersection of music and politics. Little is the founding artistic director and drummer for the amplified chamber ensemble Newspeak, which explores the relationship of music and politics, while confronting boundaries between the classical and the rock traditions. He served as the Executive Director of New York’s MATA Festival, and since 2012, he has served as the Director of Composition and Coordinator of New Music at Shenandoah Conservatory. He is currently Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Music-Theatre Group.
Little participated as a student composer in the Festival’s 2003 Composers Workshop and was invited to return as a 2004 season composer-in-residence. He returns in 2015 for the performance of Haunted Topography on Opening Night, Friday, August 7th.