Joan Tower


Tower's efforts have immensely enriched American music...She has emerged as one of America's foremost and most colorful composer. Nearly impossible to pigeonhole stylistically, her numerous works for orchestra and chamber-music ensembles are characterized by rhythmic vitality, power, and often raw emotion. — Stereophile  (photo credit: Noah Sheldon)

Joan Tower's (b. 1938) music is noted by a number of defining qualities: driving rhythms and colorful orchestrations influenced by the sounds and sensations of a childhood spent in South America; approachability for listeners and players alike, resulting from her engagement with the performers of her music (often written with specific musicians in mind) and her own performances as a pianist. Early works were serial in conception. In the 1970s she moved toward more tonal, Messiaen-like sonorities. She has written a number of works paying homage to composers such as Beethoven (Concerto for Piano), Stravinsky (Petroushskates), and Copland (Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman). She was the first composer chosen for a Ford Made in America consortium commission, Made in America. Its top-selling recording won three 2008 Grammy awards, including Best Classical Contemporary Composition.


  • percussion featured
  • solo instrumental (non-keyboard)
  • ACE Publications

    3 title(s)
    Joan Tower HEXACHORDS 2021 Edition Flute
    Joan Tower PERCUSSION QUARTET perc qrt
    Joan Tower SIX VARIATIONS vcl

    Additional Works