Composer Bruce Saylor was born in Philadelphia, PA. He studied composition at the Juilliard School in New York City from 1964 to 1969 where he was a student of Hugo Weisgall and Roger Sessions. A Fulbright Fellowship sent him to study with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome from 1969 to 1970. That year he entered the City University of New York Graduate Center where he studied composition with Weisgall, theory with George Perle, and analysis with Felix Salzer. He received his Ph.D. in 1978. Among Saylor's many fellowships, grants and prizes are awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Jerome, Guggenheim, Mellon, and Ingram Merrill, and Lawrence Kinsloe Madison Foundations, the National Prize for Composition from the National Society of Arts and Letter, the Music Award and also the Charles E. Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, numerous scholarships and prizes from Juilliard, and the Fulbright. He has composed five operas, among them "Orpheus Descending"--after Tennessee Williams with the libretto by J. D. McClatchy--for Lyric Opera of Chicago where he was composer-in-residence, and "The Image Maker"--a setting of the iconic James Merrill play. He has collaborated with Nine Circles Chamber Theatre, Jonathan Levi and Gil Morgenstern co-directors, in creating five theatrical productions performed in the US and in Europe. Saylor's orchestral music has been commissioned and performed by the San Francisco, Houston, Nashville, Yale symphonies, and by the American Composers Orchestra and Chicago Composers Orchestra. He has been commissioned to write a dozen large-scale pieces for chorus and orchestra, symphonic works, concertos and much vocal, choral, and chamber music. He has collaborated with soprano Jessye Norman, composing music for two full-length CD's, on music for several important national occasions, and on concert versions of Duke Ellington's sacred music, which Miss Norman has performed around the world. Four of his song cycles have been recorded by mezzo soprano Constance Beavon. And Gil Morgenstern, violinist, has performed and recorded much chamber music and a concerto. Saylor teaches at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and at the City University of New York Graduate Center. His four extraordinary daughters have international careers in music, education, language, and the visual arts.
Saylor lives in New York City.