A native of Washington, D.C., Elizabeth Vercoe was called "one of the most inventive composers working in America today" by her hometown newspaper (The Washington Post). She has worked as a composer in the U.S. and abroad: at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy, the St. Petersburg Spring Music Festival in Russia, the Cité International des Arts in Paris, and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. She has written works on commission for Wellesley College, Austin Peay State University, the Pro Arte Orchestra, and the First National Congress on Women in Music. Her awards include grants from the the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Artists Foundation, and the Massachusetts Arts Council.
Described by Gardner Read as "an exceptionally gifted composer with a fine technical command and a keen sensitivity to sound materials," she has attended concerts of her music in London, Paris, Bangkok, New York, and San Francisco, including international festivals in Russia and Alaska and collaborative programs of music and dance with the Beth Soll Dance Company. After receiving her doctoral degree at Boston University, she promoted women's music as a board member of the International League of Women Composers, Director of the Women's Music Festival/85, and author of articles on the subject. In 2003 she held the Acuff Chair of Excellence at Austin Peay State University and she continues to teach at Regis College outside of Boston. Recorded on Owl, Capstone, Leonarda and Centaur compact discs and published principally by Arsis Press, her music includes the Herstory series of vocal works on texts by women, two staged monodramas, Changes: A little music for Mozart for orchestra, and music for various chamber combinations. A dissertation (J. Capaldo, Elizabeth Vercoe: Composing Her Story) about her vocal music is available online, and a recording of her chamber music (including To Music) was released recently on the Navona label.
Photo by Caroline Alden
NSM currently offers five works by Dr. Vercoe: Fantavia for flute and percussion, To Music for solo flute, Kleemation for flute and piano, Butterfly Effects for flute(s) and harp, and Woodwind Duos for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, or 2 clarinets.