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Biography

Flutist, Educator, and Creator of New and Experimental Music

Claire Chase is a soloist, collaborative artist, curator, and advocate for new and experimental music. Over the past decade she has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works for the flute, and she has championed new music internationally by building organizations, forming alliances, pioneering commissioning initiatives, and supporting educational programs that reach new audiences. Chase founded the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2001, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was the first flutist to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is founder and director of the twenty-three-year initiative Density 2036, a project to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute leading up to the centennial of Edgard Varèse’s seminal 1936 flute solo Density 21.5. Each year leading up to the centennial, Chase premieres a program of newly commissioned music; in 2036 she will play a twenty-four-hour marathon of all the repertory created in the project. In December 2020, the first five years of Density 2036 will be released in their world premiere recordings in a four-album compilation produced in collaboration with Meyer Sound Laboratories in Berkeley, CA.

A deeply committed educator, Chase is currently is Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on ensemble building, cultural activism, and transdisciplinary collaboration. She lives in Brooklyn.