Joan Tower

Born 1938 in New Rochelle, NY




Modern 1920-Present


Sequoia, Silver Ladders, Island Prelude

Joan Tower


Joan Tower is known as one of the leading composers of the modern period. She was born in New York, but spent her childhood in South America where her father worked as a mining engineer. She learned to play the piano when she was a child and soon realized that she liked to perform. She returned to the US when she was 18 to study at Bennington College in Vermont. Joan went on to Columbia University, where she received her Masters and Doctorate Degrees in music.

Joan was the Composer-In-Residence of the St. Louis Symphony from 1985-1987. She has also received many fellowships and founded and was the pianist in the “Da Capo Players”- an ensemble that won many awards for their performances. The Da Capo Players also commissioned and premiered many of Joan’s works.

Joan has composed a large number of pieces, some for small, chamber ensembles and others for full orchestra. Her works are known for their energy and colorful sounds. She has taught music at Bard College since 1972.