Andrea Clearfield is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, opera, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance, and multimedia collaborations. Clearfield creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and by Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”. Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad.
Among her 150 works are eleven large-scale cantatas including one commissioned and premiered by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Her 2009 Lung-Tafor large chamber ensemble, 2012 cantata, Tse Go Lafor double chorus and chamber orchestra and 2016 Rabsong Shar for soprano, chamber orchestra and digital audio were inspired by her Tibetan music fieldwork in Lo Monthang Nepal. There she documented the repertoire of the last of the royal court singers with anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Katey Blumenthal.
She will be the 2018 Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angelfire Festival, Ida Kafavian, Artistic Director where her works, including Tse Go LaChamber Suite and a newly commissioned chamber work, will be featured. She was named the Steven R. Gerber Composer-in-Residence with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in collaboration with the American Composers Forum for the 2018-19 season. She is currently completing her first opera, MILA, Great Sorcerer to libretto by Jean-Claude van Itallie and Lois Walden, Kevin Newbury, director, commissioned by Gene Kaufman and Terry Eder.
Clearfield has been awarded numerous fellowships including a 2016 Pew Fellowship and 2017 Independence Fellowship in the Arts and has also held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Civitella, MacDowell Colony, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Yaddo, Ucross, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Copland House among others. She was recently Visiting Composer at the University of Texas at Austin, Curtis Institute of Music, Yale-National University of Singapore, Emory University, Michigan State University, Temple University and McIlroy Visiting Professor at the University of Arkansas.
Dr. Clearfield served on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts from 1986-2011. She received a DMA in Composition from Temple University where she was the first composer to be awarded the University-wide Presidential Fellowship. She received an MM in Piano from the University of the Arts and a BA in Music from Muhlenberg College where she studied with her mentor, Margaret Garwood and graduated with Summa Cum Lauda, Phi Beta Kappa and first place awards in Performance and Musicianship.
Her works are published by Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard and Seeadot and have been recorded on the Bridge, Sony, MSR, Albany, Crystal and Innova labels. Passionate about building community around the arts, she is the founder and host of the renowned Salon featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music since 1986 and winner of Philadelphia Magazine’s 2008 Best of Philadelphia Award.